Lower arm slot gives Westbrook an edge

Lower arm slot gives Westbrook an edge

CLEVELAND -- Indians right-hander Jake Westbrook has reached another milestone in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, and it's one he hopes can thwart opposing hitters.

In 2005 and '06, Westbrook began dropping his arm slot on his delivery of certain fastballs and sliders. It was his way of tripping up right-handed batters.

Nearly two years removed from his 2008 elbow surgery, Westbrook wanted to ensure his arm is where it needs to be physically before he started to use the dropped-down delivery this year.

Westbrook said he began using the lower arm slot in his second outing of the season in Detroit, and he used it again in Saturday's strong seven-inning effort against the White Sox.

"It gets them thinking about something else," Westbrook said. "My curveball is only so-so, and I'm not a strikeout guy. I didn't really have anything to throw with two strikes to righties. Dropping down gives me another element. The sidearm sinker and slider is another pitch to righties."