Fast-start Redbird to replace fast-start Card

John Gast is being called up to St. Louis to replace injured starter Jake Westbrook Tuesday night.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced on Sunday that right-handed pitcher Jake Westbrook is being placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 9 due to right elbow inflammation. The 35-year-old has received a cortisone injection and has been prescribed rest.

Westbrook was off to one of the best starts in his 13-year MLB career. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 1.62 ERA over seven starts for in 2013 and led the National League in ERA after the month of April.

Left-handed starter John Gast will be placed on the Cardinals 40-man roster at the time of his Tuesday promotion. The 24-year-old will take Westbrook's rotation turn on Tuesday night against the New York Mets at Busch Stadium. Tuesday also happened to be Gast's regular day to pitch for Memphis, so he will be on regular rest.

Gast, the Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April as named by the Cardinals organization and The Cardinal Nation, is currently 3-1 with a 1.16 ERA over six starts in Memphis. The sixth-round draft pick from Florida State University in the 2010 draft began the season with a Redbirds team-record 32 consecutive scoreless inning streak.

The Cardinal Nation's 20th-ranked St. Louis prospect has participated in the last three major league spring training camps as a non-roster invitee. Gast's trademark is a pickoff move that claimed 32 baserunners over his first three seasons and five already in 2013.

Coming out of spring training camp, many thought Michael Wacha would be the unofficial sixth starter in waiting at Memphis. However, the tall right-hander is still adjusting to Triple-A. On the surface, Wacha's 4-0 record and 1.99 ERA look superb, but his FIP of 4.26 and just 24 strikeouts against 13 walks in 40 2/3 innings indicate more seasoning is needed.

While both Westbrook and Gast were off to tremendous beginnings in 2013 in April, they logged their worst starts of the year in their most recent outings. Westbrook yielded three runs, four earned, to the Cubs in 5 1/3 innings on Wednesday, May 8. The next night, Gast gave up five runs, four earned, in four frames against Sacramento at home.

To accommodate Gast's addition to the 40-man roster, which was already full, pitcher Jason Motte is being moved from the 15-day to 60-day disabled list.

To see the Cardinals 40-man roster and full minor league system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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