Morning Thread: Jake Westbrook's Home Run, Replacement Level

I've got more deadlines to deal with, but I think this is worth noting: Jake Westbrook's grand slam could be the thing that puts the Cardinals' free-agent starter over replacement level on Baseball-Reference. Before their Thursday update he's sitting at 0.0 as a hitter and a pitcher, which is impressive in its own terrible way. 

Five things to talk about:

  1. Kolten Wong is now hitting .343/.405/.508 in his 43 games at the Quad Cities, following his 4-4 performance in the River Bandits' 21-10 win over the LumberKings, which is what a number of very talented baseball players are required to call themselves in the Midwest League. Low-A isn't a huge challenge for a college hitter, but at 20 Wong is younger than most of his competition, and he's hitting .477 across his last 10 games. (He's also a year-and-a-half older than baseball-19 Oscar Taveras, who's hitting .386 in 75 games in the Midwest League and .548 across his last 10. This is only good news.)
  2. Brandon Dickson—can we all agree to call him "Cotton" Dickson permanently and exclusively, so long as it's just sitting there on his Baseball-Reference page?—is not my personal choice to start the game that could give the Cardinals one last push into relevance or that hazy kind of September where we wait for Allen Craig's turn at bat to come up again, but every time I look at his Memphis numbers I'm surprised by how decent they've gotten. Seven strikeouts and less than two walks per nine innings at least promotes him into above-average-junkballer territory. 
  3. Rafael Furcal is now hitting .238/.287/.371 as a Cardinal, with flashy defense and a great arm. Just in case you were wondering what it would look like if the Cardinals gave Tyler Greene a month of playing time. 
  4. If you're wondering what it looks like when an average AAA junkballer gets a start in the Major Leagues out of some combination of desperation and exhaustion, Miguel Batista also starts tonight.
  5. At the rate he is currently going it would take Corey Patterson 168 plate appearances to walk four times—8.8 times more than it took Matt Carpenter, who's sitting on four walks in 19 PA. Patterson's 40 at-bats have produced a .175/.195/.250 mark, but don't worry—now that we've seen Jake Westbrook's line jump to .119/.178/.238 (across 42 at-bats, with three walks) it should be clear that Patterson's just one unlikely grand slam away from being clearly better than an American League pitcher. 
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