Cards extend Westbrook through ’13

Courtesy: St. Louis Cardinals

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have agreed to a contract extension with pitcher Jake Westbrook that carries through the 2013 season and includes a mutual option for 2014.

Westbrook, acquired by the Cardinals on July 31, 2010 in a trade from Cleveland, has built a 28-22 mark with a 4.01 ERA in 69 starts as a member of the Cardinals.  Jake’s win total of 28 since his acquisition is the 10th best in the National League with Roy Halladay, Ian Kennedy and Clayton Kershaw leading the way with 35.

“Jake continues to be a steady and sturdy part of our pitching staff and we are pleased to announce his extension,” stated Cardinals Senior Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak.  “His veteran presence is important to the makeup of our team.  Jake has demonstrated his leadership with his commitment and hard work, resulting in both a terrific 2012 season and career.”

Westbrook, 34, has posted a 12-9 mark this season with a 3.50 ERA in 24 starts, putting him just three wins shy of 100 for his career.  The veteran right-hander has 16 “quality starts” this season, 2nd on the team to Kyle Lohse (19).

Considered among the game’s top groundball pitchers, Westbrook is leading the National League in both double plays induced (22) and groundball pct. (73.3) this season   He has allowed just 10 home runs, ranking 4th in the league for fewest HR’s allowed/9 IP.

An active defender as well, Westbrook is annually among the game’s top fielding pitchers, this year ranking among NL pitching leaders in total chances/9 IP (2.97) and assists/9 IP (2.22).