Westbrook ready to begin rehab stint

Westbrook ready to begin rehab stint

ST. LOUIS -- Jake Westbrook threw a pain-free bullpen session on Saturday morning. It was the last checkpoint the right-hander needed to pass before being cleared for a Minor League rehab assignment.

Westbrook is scheduled to begin that assignment on Tuesday with a start for Double-A Springfield. He's expected to throw about 60 pitches in what will be his first game appearnace since May 8. Westbrook is hopeful that it'll be the first of only two necessary starts in the Minors.

"It will be interesting to see the up and down," Westbrook said, referring to the starting and stopping starters go through each inning. "I'm excited about how I feel."

Due to Friday's rainout, the Cardinals will need someone to start Wednesday's game in place of previously-scheduled starter Shelby Miller. Don't plan on it being Westbrook. The club intends to have Westbrook build himself up to where he'd be ready to throw 100 pitches upon his return to the rotation. He will need at least two starts to get to that point.

The decision to have Westbrook make his first rehab start with Springfield instead of at Triple-A Memphis was merely the result of convenience. Springfield is at home next Tuesday, while Memphis is on the road.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.