JUPITER, Fla. - Nine fly balls in three innings is not a ratio Jake Westbrook would be happy with in the regular season. Spring training is a different story.
The sinker-ball pitcher is at his best when he's getting ground ball after ground ball. Wednesday afternoon it was nearly the opposite as he recorded five fly ball outs to just one ground ball out.
But with four spring starts remaining, Westbrook wasn't ready to panic just yet.
"Outs are outs," Westbrook said. "That's how I look at it right now. My arm feels good and I made some decent pitches, they just went down and got them and hit the ball in the air. I'm not thinking about it too much that way but still I would like to get those ground balls."
Westbrook allowed four hits and one run in three innings. He threw 40 pitches, 26 of which went for strikes.
"I felt great," Westbrook said. "I was really pleased with how I felt going into the third inning and that's just the another step, getting my innings in and getting ready for the season."
Asked about pounding the strike zone Westbrook said, "That was my plan from the beginning from the last start and this one as well, be aggressive with my fastball in the zone and getting ahead and still working on throwing my other pitches for strikes."
"I threw all my pitches today which is good to see to be able to one, get enough pitches in to be able to do that, last outing i wasn't able to do that, but also to be able to do that and see where those pitches are and what I need to work on."
Limiting the fly balls will certainly be on the list.