By R.J. Anderson //
Biggest Surprise: Jake Westbrook
Acquired at the trade deadline in a three-way deal, Westbrook excelled in his 12 starts with the Cardinals, following in the footsteps of other veteran pitchers paired with St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan. Lasting 75 innings with a 2.29 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a 3.48 ERA, he deserved better than a 4-4 record. A free-agent-to-be, Westbrook may or may not return to St. Louis; his performance certainly may have endeared him to some new potential suitors.
Biggest Bust: Kyle Lohse
Owner of mediocre seasons in the past, this one is on another level. Lohse endured a forearm injury while making only 18 starts. His 4-8 record and 6.55 ERA look bad, but his peripherals suggest his ERA should’ve been in the 4-5 range. Expect Lohse to be better next season, if only because he can’t be much worse.
2011 Keeper Alert: Adam Wainwright
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 24-plus months, then no explanation is required. He’s one of the best pitchers in baseball (7th in Pitching Wins Above Replacement this season) and should continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
2011 Regression Alert: Jeff Suppan
Suppan had a 3.84 ERA for the Cardinals. Let that sink in for a moment. Okay, now consider that Suppan’s seasonal ERA was 5.06. Believe it or not, 70% of his innings came with the Cards, and yet his nightmare performance with the Brewers still capsized his season. He’s not quite as bad as the 7.84 ERA with the Brew Crew, but he’s also not nearly as good as his 3.84 mark. Expect an ERA near 5 over a full season of starts (he’s at 4.69 for his career) with whomever decides he’s worthy of a roster spot next year. Just don’t let it be your fantasy team.
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