Hours before the trade deadline, the veteran right-hander is scheduled to start as the Indians try to avoid a fourth straight loss Saturday against the surging Toronto Blue Jays.
With the game slated to start three hours before Saturday’s deadline of 4 p.m. EST, Cleveland (42-61) could still deal the high-priced Westbrook (6-7, 4.65 ERA). Despite having a losing record after missing 2009 while recovering from elbow surgery, Westbrook could be an appealing option for a postseason contender. The two-time 15-game winner has spent nine of his 10 seasons with the Indians.
Westbrook is coming off a solid performance despite losing his second consecutive start, allowing three runs on two homers in eight innings of a 3-2 loss to the Yankees on Monday.
“You work hard to be able to (pitch late in games),” Westbrook told the Indians’ official website. “That’s why I have the routine I have and do all the arm exercises is to be strong enough to handle that.”
Westbrook, though, is 0-2 with a 7.89 ERA in his last four outings on the road. He’s 3-2 with a 4.46 ERA in eight starts against Toronto, including 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA in two this season.
Bautista, who has hit 19 of his major league-leading 31 home runs at home, could remain in Toronto despite hearing his name in trade rumors. The All-Star is 14 for 23 with five home runs and 13 RBIs in his last six games, and 3 for 5 with a home run against Westbrook.
While Toronto has scored 30 runs in its last four games, Cleveland has totaled 19 in the last nine. That does not bode well for the Indians against Brett Cecil(notes) (8-5, 3.89), who looks to conclude an already successful July with another solid effort against Cleveland.
The left-hander is 1-0 with an 0.86 ERA and 25 strikeouts in three starts against the Indians. He allowed one run and one hit while striking out a career-high 10 in eight innings of a 5-1 win at Cleveland on May 3.
Cecil is 1-0 with a 2.39 ERA in four starts this month. He allowed two runs in seven innings of a 5-3 win at Detroit on Sunday.
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