Cardinals bring back Jake Westbrook for two years

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Update: FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal says Westbrook will receive a $16.5 million guarantee.

The dollars aren’t in yet, but free agent Jake Westbrook will stick with the Cardinals after agreeing to a two-year deal with a mutual option for 2013, Fanhouse’s Ed Price reports.

Back from Tommy John surgery, the sinkerballing Westbrook went 10-11 with a 4.22 ERA in 202 2/3 innings last season.  After being traded from Cleveland to St. Louis at the deadline, he was 4-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 12 starts.

Although he missed most of 2008 all of 2009, Westbrook seemed like one of the safest options available in the pitching market.  He’d rarely had arm problems previously, and his stuff came all of the way back following surgery.   An extreme groundball pitcher, he’s never allowed more than 20 homers in a season.

Westbrook’s return is one reason the Cardinals should think long and hard about sticking with Brendan Ryan at shortstop and replacing Skip Schumaker at second base.  Indications have been that they want to do the opposite, but while Schumaker is the better bet of the two to bounce back offensively, he’s a subpar defensive second baseman.  Ryan, on the other hand, might be the game’s best defensive shortstop at the moment.

Odubel Herrera went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts today

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Did you have a bad day? It’s OK. We all do sometimes. It’s just part of life. Even ballplayers have bad days. Even the good ones.

Odubel Herrera is a good one. He’s only 25, but he’s already got two seasons of above average hitting under his belt. Dude gets on base. He could be a regular for tons of teams, so there’s no shame at all in him having a bad day. And boy howdy did he have a bad day today. He went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts in the Phillies extra innings win against the Rockies.

“I feel that I am making good swings but I’m just missing the pitches,” Herrera said.

Well, that is how strikeouts work.

Four strikeouts in a game is known as a Golden Sombrero. Players don’t strike out five times in a game very often so they don’t have an agreed upon name, but I’ve seen it referred to as the “platinum sombrero,” which seems pretty solid for such a feat. Six is a titanium sombrero or a double platinum sombrero, though there are references to it as a “Horn,” for Sam Horn, who deserves something to be named in his honor. Horn is like Moe Greene — a great man, a man of vision and guts — yet there isn’t even a plaque, or a signpost or a statue of him!

But I digress.

The last time a Phillies player did it was when Pat Burrell K’d five times in September 2008. The Phillies won the World Series that year, of course, so maybe this is an omen. [looks at standings] Or maybe not.

Anyway, get a good night’s sleep tonight, Odubel. Shake it off. Tomorrow is another day.

Rachel Robinson to receive O’Neil Award from the Hall of Fame

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NEW YORK (AP) Rachel Robinson will receive the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award from baseball’s Hall of Fame on July 29, the day before this year’s induction ceremony.

She’s the wife of late Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who broke the major league color barrier in 1947. Rachel Robinson created the Jackie Robinson Foundation in 1973, a year after he husband’s death. Rachel Robinson, who turns 95 in July 19, headed the foundation’s board until 1996.

The O’Neil award was established in 2007 to honor individuals who broaden the game’s appeal and whose character is comparable to that of O’Neil. He played in the Negro Leagues, was a scout for major league baseball teams and helped establish the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

The award was given to O’Neil in 2008, Roland Hemond in 2011 and Joe Garagiola in 2014.