A day after Joe Maddon announced Jon Lester had been scratched from Saturday’s start with a dead arm Lester met with the media and said there is no reason to be concerned.
Jon Lester said Saturday morning he has no pain or discomfort in his arm so there is no reason to worry. Lester labeled what he is dealing with as a “tired arm” not a “dead arm.” And if this was happening during the season it would not be an issue.
The Cubs’ lefty explained he deals with this every year, but usually it happens earlier in spring or late in April. He’s never missed a spring start because of it due to the fact his routine could be altered when he had a tired arm early in Spring Training.
The question was asked if Lester was dealing with a tired arm during his last start against the Padres and the veteran southpaw said he wasn’t.
Lester and the Cubs felt there was no reason to push it for a Spring Training start and decided to back off because there was time to do so, basically no reason to pitch through it right now. Lester is staying on his routine. He will throw a bullpen Monday. And Lester fully expects to make his next spring start Thursday against the Angels at Sloan Park.
As for building his pitch count, Lester is not worried about not having enough time left this spring to prepare for Opening Night against the Cardinals on April 5. Lester threw 70 pitches, 44 for strikes, against the Padres on March 16. Counting Thursday’s start, Lester would have two more spring outings (March 26 vs. Angels, March 31 at Rangers in Surprise) to build up to the 100-pitch mark.
On what a dead or tired arm feels like, Lester said, “You can ask every pitcher, it’s an ever year thing for everybody. It’s nothing out of the ordinary. It’s one of those things that you have to go through to understand. It doesn’t feel like anything. It’s more total body deadness and everybody puts a label on it as far as ‘dead arm.’ It’s nothing to be alarmed about.”