Westbrook gets positive results from rehab start

ST. LOUIS — Jake Westbrook believes one more will do it.

“Everything felt good” the rehabbing Cardinals starter told reporters via conference call after his Tuesday night start with the Cardinals Double-A team in Springfield, Mo. He added that one more rehab assignment should be all he needs before returning to the rotation in St. Louis.

Westbrook, who is in the process of returning from a bout of right elbow inflammation that placed him on the disabled list May 9, threw for 3.2 innings, surrendered 6 hits and one run. He walked none and struck out five. Forty-five of his 60 pitches were strikes.

“I was little erratic with my pitches, but I guess that’s understandable the first time out,” Westbrook said. “It wasn’t terrible, but I wasn’t as sharp as I would have liked to been.”

Control trouble aside, Westbrook said the most important issue — his elbow — checked out.

“My main concern going into the day was just how I would respond to the workload, getting up and down and throwing 60 pitches — on top of what I threw in the bullpen,” he said.

If his elbow continues to stay pain-free, Westbrook said he will throw a full bullpen session later this week, then get one final rehab start with the Cardinals’ Single-A team in Peoria, Ill., on Sunday.

Westbrook was asked if he was sure that rehab start will be the last one he needs.

“I would like to think so,” he said. “With the 60 [pitches], then the 75-80 for the next start. And then the next start could be 100, which is where I think they [the Cardinals] would want me to be. Obviously, I feel like I could be capable of doing that in the big leagues.”

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