Designated CA Sandy Martinez for Assignment

Purchased the Contract of OF Raul Gonzalez (AAA) and Recalled him to Cleveland

Gonzalez provides a right-handed bat, which will be especially important for the upcoming National League road trip. Gonzalez was hitting .341/.391/.647 for Buffalo since he was signed last month.

And I can’t resist commenting on yesterday’s drubbing of Baltimore. To me, more important than John McDonald going 4-4 for the first time in his career was Jake Westbrook’s four-hitter. Those 9 innings of shutout ball gave Jake the American League lead in ERA. Think about that for a second. Just two months ago he was a little-used spot starter in the bullpen, and now he’s one of the best pitchers in the league. Will it last? I doubt it, but I think that Westbrook (finally) has figured out that his stuff is good, and all he needs to be successful is to throw strikes.

From my Spring Training Preview (2-29-04):

If Davis is overrated, Jake Westbrook is a bit underrated. He’s never going to rack up the strikeouts, but his pitches all have movement, and those are the types of pitchers who stick around for a while. Two full seasons removed from shoulder surgery, Jake should be able to go 180 IP if inserted in the rotation, and be a nice 4th or 5th starter.

Don’t believe me? Here’s Jake’s numbers, along with the numbers another low-strikeout pitcher who had a “great” season:

Westbrook 133.0 IP, 4.33 ERA, 58 SO, 9 HR, 6 UER

Anderson 197.2 IP, 3.78 ERA, 87 SO, 27 HR, 27 UER

The difference bewteen the two? Brian Anderson gave up almost three times the number of unearned runs Westbrook did, and it deflated his ERA enough so that he got a two-year deal from the Royals. If Westbrook can trust his sinker (and it’s a good one), he should be able to eat a lot of innings in the back of the rotation.

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