Cleveland Indians RHP Jake Westbrook will make his first rehab appearance of the 2009 season tonight with the Akron Aeros at 5:05 p.m. as they take on the Altoona Curve in a doubleheader. Westbrook will start game one tonight, it what will be his fourth rehab appearance in his career with the currently 34-19 Aeros after being shelved for most of the 2008 and thus far all of the 2009 season with elbow problems. He underwent Tommy John surgery just last September after also suffering through hip problems, and now seems destined to be with the Indians by the end of the month.
His return will be a huge boost to the Indians rotation that now includes red-hot Carl Pavano, Cliff Lee, David Huff, Jeremy Sowers and a currently unidentified replacement for Fausto Carmona (possibly the Zack Attack). Take a look at some of the career statistics for the 31-year-old Westbrook as he looks to make it back to the team where he has won only seven games over the past two and a half seasons:
2003: 7-10 with a 4.33 ERA, 22 starts (34 games), 133.0 IP
2004: 14-9 with a 3.38 ERA, 30 starts (33 games), 215.2 IP
2005: 15-15 with a 4.49 ERA, 34 starts, 210.2 IP
2006: 15-10 with a 4.17 ERA, 32 starts, 211.1 IP
2007: 6-9 with a 4.32 ERA, 25 starts, 152.0 IP
2008 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA, 5 starts, 34.2 IP
Jacob Rosen is a long-time contributor to WaitingForNextYear. He's also a writer online at SportsAnalyticsBlog and Nylon Calculus . An Akron native, Jacob is a current MBA student at the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. You can follow him on Twitter @WFNYJacob or e-mail him at udjrosen(at)gmail(dot)com.