Cardinals decline Jake Westbrook’s option for 2014

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Jake Westbrook completely fell out of the Cardinals’ plans by getting hurt and pitching terribly, and not surprisingly the team declined his $9.5 million option. He’ll get a $1 million buyout instead, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Westbrook made $9.75 million this season while throwing 117 innings with a 4.63 ERA and was yanked from the rotation in August. He spent a total of three-and-a-half seasons in St. Louis after coming over in a mid-2010 deal from Cleveland, logging 1,191 innings with a 4.29 ERA.

If healthy Westbrook should have no trouble finding work as a mid-rotation starter, but he hasn’t had a better-than-average ERA in a full season since 2007 and at 36 years old has talked about possibly retiring.

The Angels were the first team to use up all of their mound visits

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Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.

Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.

At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.