The St. Louis Cardinals have established the best record in Major League Baseball through nearly one-third of the regular season and have thrived despite a series of injury obstacles that forced the team to mix and match its pitching staff together.
But the steady stream of players headed back and forth to the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds should soon subside when right-handed starter Jake Westbrook makes his return to the team Friday against the Miami Marlins.
Westbrook was one of the players who helped start a wild month of roster movement when he went on the disabled list May 12 with right elbow inflammation. He was 2-1 with a 1.62 earned-run average at the time and part of the best starting rotation in the game.
His injury created an opening for rookie left-handed pitcher John Gast to make his big-league debut, and the left-handed starter Jaime Garcia suffered a shoulder injury later that week, which created a spot for another left-handed rookie, Tyler Lyons.
Gast and Lyons were pa...