Prior to Friday’s spring game against the White Sox, Joe Maddon announced Jon Lester had been scratched from his next scheduled start, which was Saturday against the Mariners at Sloan Park.
Jon Lester is dealing with a dead arm, which is not uncommon. Maddon said that Lester was not in any pain and did not appear to be concerned about his arm when Maddon spoke with him. Lester told his skipper that he’s been through this before. And Maddon pointed out that Lester is feeling great.
The Cubs are skipping Lester’s outing, not pushing him back. Jon Lester will stay with his in between start routine and he’s expected to face the Angels on Thursday (6:05pm CDT) at Sloan Park. Lester will have two more spring outings to prepare for Opening Night.
Joe Maddon said, as of “right now,” this will not impact Jon Lester’s status for Opening Night.
“He’s going through a little bit of a dead arm period. More than likely will not miss the start right after that. But we wanted to be very cautious with it right now. And at this point, it does not impact opening day. It’s just a lot of guys go through that moment where the arm just doesn’t feel right, partly he came out of the chute very strong and probably went after it too hard, too early. He possibly was trying to impress everybody and being Jon Lester. But our guys feel very good about it. I checked with him this morning. He felt great. We just want to back off a bit right now.”
On if Maddon is concerned: “Not right now I’m not. Talking to this guy this morning, it’s just a precautionary thing. A lot of times you talk to a pitcher and you ask them how they’re feeling. When a guy smiles, he talks easily and is upbeat about it. Normally it’s a pretty good indication. And (Lester) was all of that. I really feel strongly he’s going to be OK.”
Jon Lester was very good in his first two starts. Lester gave up a hit but faced the minimum over two innings against the Reds on March 6. Lester surrendered three hits over three innings to the Dodgers on March 11. In his first two starts, Lester did not walk a batter and struck out five. Lester was hit rather hard his last time out. Lester allowed six runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings.
So far this spring, his first in the Cactus League, Jon Lester has allowed six runs on 11 hits with a walk and nine strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings.
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