Jake Westbrook off DL, but not back in Cardinals rotation

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St. Louis activated Jake Westbrook from the disabled list, but the Cardinals are not moving him back into the rotation. Or at least not yet.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the Cardinals are still trying to figure out a role for Westbrook, who was shut down with a back injury after going through a stretch in which he allowed 26 runs in 21 innings. And dating back to mid-June he has a 6.68 ERA with more walks (27) than strikeouts (22) in 63 innings, so a low-leverage relief role would seemingly make the most sense initially.

Red Sox to extend protective netting at Fenway Park in 2018

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The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”

Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.

After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.