Cleat Geeks

Is Jon Lester a Disappointment?

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Jon Lester’s history suggests that he will pitch better later in the season. “Some guys start fast and finish terrible,” said Lester. “And other guys start slow and finish good. I’d rather be the (latter). That’s what you play for — the end of the year. (But) obviously everyone wants to get off to a good start. I’ve always been kind of a slow starter, for whatever reason. “I would have liked these (first) three starts to go a little different than what they have, but you can’t go back. I have to keep looking forward to the next (start) and continue to build. That’s all you can really do.”

On Friday, against the Reds, Lester was more effective, he struck out a season high 10. He threw a season high 104 pitches in six innings and retired the final 17154619-mmmainnine batters he faced, including four of the final five strikeouts. “I’m a believer in the length of the season and know Lester is going to keep getting better with good health,” Joe Maddon said. “It’s just him getting more comfortable. I really do believe the interrupted spring training bothered him a bit.” Jon Lester said his season high 10 strikeouts were a good sign and it might have helped that he was pitching against the Reds for the second time. “I’m a visual guy, so when I get to see how guys approach me, how they take swings off me, you learn. I get information,” he said. “It’s a work in progress. It’s a constant adjustment for me right now. We’ll keep building. There’s room for improvement and we’re going to keep making adjustments.”

This was just a glimpse of the vision Maddon talked about heading into Lester’s fourth start as a Cub. Lester even seemed very confident before Friday’s start. So no, Jon Lester is not a disappointment. He’s just been having a slow start and he will get better.

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4 Comments

  1. Michael Ballentine

    May 1, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Let me first start by saying Gabby Garcia is one of the hardest working, and best writers we have on staff. She has quite a few articles on this site, and we value her as a writer.

    She is also a huge Cub’s fan, and in this instance, to a fault. She asks if Jon Lester is a disappointment? Then she says no. But she leaves out facts and includes quotes and opinions.

    You don’t expect Jon Lester to say, “No, I suck, and I am going to give back some of the huge contract money I just signed to the good people of Chicago.” You don’t expect Joe Maddon to say, “Right now is slotted in our number one slot, but he is pitching like a number five.” But both of these statements are true, at least in the early going, but the early going is all you have to go by.

    For me, and average pitcher gives you 14 wins and a 3.50 ERA. Anything above that is above average and anything below that is obviously below average. According to ESPN the average yearly salary of a starting pitcher in MLB is just over $6 million dollars. Lester just signed a 6 year $155 million dollar deal with the Cubs, making his average annual salary almost $25 million per year. So, he is paid much greater than an average pitcher.

    So far in 4 starts he has 0 wins, more hits than innings pitched at 29/21.2 and an ERA of 6.23. Speaking of innings pitched he has averaged just over 5.1 innings per start. None of those numbers say average or above average. Therefore, he is a disappointment.

    So take off your Rizzo jersey, your Harry Carey glasses and tie the goat to the home dugout.

  2. VegasKanerFan

    May 1, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Jon Lester will be fine. Notorious slow starter in a sport that has the longest season in sports. He is getting better & better with each start. He is a 200+ inning per year workhorse. A proven playoff pitcher and a great leader on and off the field. As I type this, he just got his 1st win of the season with a 7IP, 3H, 0R, 1BB, 4 SO, 90 pitch performance. He is not and will not be a disappointment for the Cubs. Go Cubs Go!

  3. Michael Ballentine

    May 1, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    VegasKanerFan,

    You are correct, he has a 214 innings pitched and he is a notorious slow starter. But, that also proves my point. If he starts slow, then he is not an above average pitcher who is being paid like an elite pitcher. Yes, he got the win today, against the BREWERS. They are 5-17, they should beat them, don’t celebrate it like he is wonderful. In his 10 years in the league he has averaged 15 wins a year, again just a hair above average. He has only been an All-Star 3 times, and has never won a big pitching award.

    Plus, if you watched the game, he looked lost at the plate. I assume he can’t bunt or they would have had him bunt in today’s game with the runner on 2nd. And, we know about his move, or lack there of, to first base. All these things are knocks that make him not worth $20 million, and pull his stock down to closer to average instead of elite.

    • VegasKanerFan

      May 1, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      I agree with that, but, will remain optimistic and positive about my Cubbies at all times. Go Cubs Go!

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