St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jake Westbrook is headed to the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation, the team announced on Sunday. The Cardinals promoted John Gast from Triple-A to the major-league club to start in place of Westbrook on Wednesday.
Westbrook has pitched very well for St. Louis this season, as the veteran starter has a 1.62 ERA through his first six starts of the season. The right-handed has battled some control issues, walking 4.15 batters per nine innings, but has yet to allow a home run over 39 innings this season. Westbrook's 61.9% groundball rate has been the key to the pitcher's success this season.
Gast is receiving his first promotion to the big leagues, and will make his major-league debut on Wednesday. John Sickels of Minorleagueball.com gave Gast a C+ ranking during the off-season, ranking the lefty as the 15th-best prospect in the Cardinals system. Sickels, however, believes that Gast's future is in the bullpen, as the 24 year-old has struggled with control issues.
The southpaw has pitched effectively in Triple-A, as Gast owns a 1.38 ERA after his six starts. Gast has struck out 30 batters this season while walking 12 over 32.2 innings.
The optioned closer Jason Motte to the 60-day DL to clear room for Gast on the 40-man roster. Motte is expected to miss the rest of the season recovering from surgery.