The Peoria Chiefs in conjunction with the St. Louis Cardinals have announced that barring any medical setbacks, starting pitcher Jake Westbrook will start in Peoria on Sunday when the Chiefs host the Quad Cities River Bandits at 5:00 p.m. The outing will mark the first rehab appearance for the Chiefs in their return to the Cardinals organization.
Westbrook is expected to start for the Chiefs and throw 75-80 pitches. Tickets are available immediately at www.peoriachiefs.com or by calling 1-866-MYTICKET. The Dozer Park Box Office will open 10:00 a.m. daily leading up to Sunday's game for those wishing to purchase tickets in person. Due to the Major League rehab, the Never-A-Wasted ticket policy is suspended for Sunday's game. Sunday is a Sonic SuperKids Sunday where all kids 12 and under get in free at the Box Office and can run the bases post-game. The free kids tickets many only be obtained in person at the Box Office or by calling 309-680-4008, they are not available online.
All fans can play catch on field pregame beginning at 4:00 p.m. and the Chiefs regular players (excluding Westbrook) will sign autographs from 4:15 - 4:30. Also the first 1500 fans get a Jacob Wilson player poster giveaway courtesy of PJ Star.com and the first 1000 fans get a Chiefs mini-bat courtesy of CAT. Sunday is also Super Hero Day with appearances by Superman, Batman and Robin.
Westbrook was placed on the disabled list May 12 with elbow inflammation. In six starts this season in St. Louis the right-hander was 2-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 39 innings. He struck out 39 and walked 38 with a 61.3 percent ground-ball rate, the second highest in all of baseball. Westbrook made a rehab start on Tuesday night in Double-A Springfield throwing 60 pitches and allowing one run on six hits over 3 2/3 innings while striking out five.
Westbrook, 35, went 13-11 for the Cardinals in 2012 with a 3.97 ERA in 28 starts. He was 12-9 with a 4.66 ERA in 33 starts for St. Louis in 2011 and 4-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 12 starts after a July 2010 trade from Cleveland. He pitched twice in the 2011 World Series going 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA over two innings of work. He earned the win in game six after David Freese's walk-off home run in the 11th inning. A 1996 1st round pick by Colorado, Westbrook has pitched in the Majors since 2000 with the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Cardinals going 100-96 with a 4.23 ERA in 300 games and 260 starts.
The Chiefs did not have a rehab appearance last season and the last MLB rehab at Dozer Park was Carlos Zambrano on July 8, 2011. The last Cardinals player to rehab with the Chiefs is East Peoria native and current Yankees manager Joe Girardi when he played in three games May 30 - June 1, 2003.