A lot of hot stove handicappers were assuming that the Cardinals would re-sign free agent Jake Westbrook this offseason because apparently Dave Duncan liked him, Westbrook responded well enough to the change in scenery and it’s not hard to see him pitching well in St. Louis over the next couple of years. That thinking may no longer be operative, according to Ken Rosenthal, who reports that the Cardinals’ talks with Westbrook “seem to have lost momentum.”
Apparently the sticking point is that Westbrook wants more than a two-year deal, and the Cards are less-inclined to give him one. Given that, after Cliff Lee, the free agent pitching market isn’t any great shakes, it seems likely that Westbrook could get a three-year deal — which is kind of the going contract length for a middlin’-to-above-average starter these days — elsewhere. Milwaukee would probably jump at him, as would a lot of other teams looking to solidify the staff.
As for the Cardinals, their fourth starter’s position may very well continue to be a revolving door.
The Braves placed closer Arodys Vizcaino on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, per a team announcement on Sunday. The assignment is retroactive to June 21. While the right-hander will be eligible to return to the team within the week, it’s not clear yet how long his recovery will take.
Vizcaino, 27, has already been sidelined a week after experiencing discomfort in his right shoulder. While he was treated with a cortisone injection earlier this month, it doesn’t appear to have had the effect the Braves were hoping for. The injury derailed what has otherwise been a productive season for the right-hander: Through his first 30 appearances, he logged 15 saves with a 1.82 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 10.0 SO/9 over 29 2/3 innings. Per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, the club is prepared to give more closing duties to rookie left-hander A.J. Minter as Vizcaino takes some time to recover, though it seems conceivable that the up-and-coming Evan Phillips will earn a few looks in the spot as well.
In corresponding moves, infielder Phil Gosselin was designated for assignment and right-hander Phillips was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. The 23-year-old righty is poised to make his major league debut after four years in the Braves’ system. He currently sports a 2.31 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 12.9 SO/9 through 35 innings at the Triple-A level this season.