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Sox fans, what's the big deal?


RaginCaucasian
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OK, before you jump all over me calling me an ignorant asshole I KNOW HE'S RECOVERING FROM CANCER!!!

 

Aside from that, why is this guys return news?

 

Jon Lester really wasn't all that great last season despite what his record was. His ERA was almost 5.0 and against most of the better teams in the league he got shelled. It seems despite this the Sox and certian members of the media feel that this kid should be on their roster as opposed to being in Pawtucket. Just my opinion but the only reason this guy even saw the big leagues last season was due to injury or ineffective starting pitching, if he were to come back this season (again, great media story as he retuns to the game from lymphoma) he would be nothing more than a shaky 5'th starter.

 

Your opinions are welcome, please enlighten me if I am incorrect in my understanding of this subject.

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He was pitching very effectively and showed an amazing ability to escape trouble. His ERA inflated to 5 because of teams eventually hitting him with men on. If he can find the plate more and strike out the batter early in the count instead of striking him out in the 7th or 8th pitch, he'll be very effective.

 

Better then Tavarez.

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Ahh, I guess a Sox fan has to reply eventually. I see no reason to rush Lester's development. Our starting pitching issues last year were well documented and Lester was the next gold arm to come through our farm system after the highly polished Papelbon. He was looked to as a hero of sorts, starting off with a great ERA hiding a not so decent WHIP and people gobbled it up. Last year, Lester only gave up 91 hits in 81 innings but the 43 walks were rather alarming. So far in Pawtucket, Lester has a 2.01 ERA in 31.1 innings with 23 Ks, a 1.09 WHIP, and a .198 BAA. I think most people have just assumed that he was in Pawtucket to raise his pitch count rather than actually refine his pitches. I think the actual plan, and the best one considering that Tavarez, although painful to watch, has done adequately, is said best by Francona,

 

"The mentality we sort of wanted him to take was, 'Hey, force us to have you here,'" Francona said. "And that doesn't mean to go throw one [great] game. This kid went through some traumatic stuff this winter, and then he came back and had forearm cramping. And after that happened, he really cut back on his cutter and is building that back into his arsenal, which is important. We've been pretty consistent in how we've talked about this kid, and we'll continue to be."

 

He also said that Lester was a long term commitment. Truth is, he is a damn good pitcher, who was ranked 22nd on Baseball America's top 100 in 2006 and would be there had he not exhausted his rookie status by 30 innings. He's a lefty to boot! But hey, no reason to rush these guys, we have a good team. You could see this in the Red Sox draft where we picked 53% High Schoolers compared to 32.7% for everyone else. Because the lead is so comfortable and our farm system is stocked, the organization was comfortable enough to draft pure talent rather than compromise for more polished talent.

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