As expected and predicted by many, the Cardinals have removed Jake Westbrook from the starting rotation by placing him on the D.L. with a back injury. In a corresponding move, the Cards called up Carlos Martinez to replace Westbrook on the active roster. Mike Matheny has tabbed rookie Tyler Lyons to take Westbrook's scheduled start on Monday. Martinez will return to the bullpen role he filled earlier in the season.
As I wrote after his last start, Westbrook's time had come. He has been ineffective for over a month and, with the Cardinals in the heart of a pennant race, a change needed to be made.
As for Westbrook, its unclear what, if any, his role will be when he returns from his injury. In fact, its unclear whether he is really hurt or the Cardinals are trumping up his back problems so they can stash him on the D.L. for two weeks.
In any case, by the time Westbrook is eligible to return, rosters will have expanded so Martinez will be able to stay up with the team. The Cardinals and their fans are hoping that someone, whether it is Lyons, Martinez or Michael Wacha can establish himself in the rotation by that time, as they are running out of options and we all do not want to see the team forced to turn to Westbrook again.