Westbrook hopes to be ready in spring

Updated: August 11, 2009, 7:21 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians right-hander Jake Westbrook won't pitch again this season, though Cleveland hopes he will be ready for spring training next year.

Westbrook had Tommy John surgery in June 2008 and recently experienced discomfort during a rehab start at Double-A Akron. He visited Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles on Monday and had a series of tests that showed no ligament damage, Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff said Tuesday.

Jake Westbrook

Westbrook

"An MRI on Jake's right elbow revealed that the symptoms are from the buildup of scar tissue and tendinitis, but there is no damage to the reconstructed ligament," Soloff said. "Dr. Yocum recommended that Jake be shut down for six weeks, which makes it unlikely he will pitch this season."

The Indians had hoped that the 31-year-old Westbrook would return this season. He made a couple of minor league starts in June before experiencing discomfort and was shut down for a month. He worked two innings at Akron on Aug. 4 and said he felt the same soreness.

From 2004-06, Westbrook won a total of 44 games. He went 6-9 in 2007, going on the disabled list for six weeks with a strained left oblique. He made only five starts in 2008 before being sidelined and having surgery.

"It's disappointing, but as long as we get the guy back healthy, that's what we want," manager Eric Wedge said. "We want him to be somebody we can count on next year."

The Indians and Westbrook are discussing whether or not the right-hander will pitch winter ball in order to be in good condition entering spring training.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press