Thursday, July 19, 2007

Farm Hens: Jon Lester

Normally i would talk about the players stuff, like his arsenal, but that really isn't needed for Lester. We have all seen him at the big league. We've seen him succeed and struggle. He is a lefty with great potential. But after getting cancer about a year ago he has not looked the same. So what are we to expect from Lester going forward?

I don't want what kind of a toll the cancer took on Lester, but from personal experiences i have seen it do a lot of damage. This season he has posted an ERA of 3.89 and a BB/K rate of 31/51. The ERA does not look all that bad, but when you delve deeper into things you see a bigger issue, he is tiring. His June ERA is 5.52 and his July isn't much better, at 4.26. Clearly I am speculating, but how could the cancer not be in some what related. He could not have come into camp in perfect shape.Here is a graph of his ERA of the past year. The green line is his time in Pawtucket, the grey line is his time in Portland.

It is hard to speculate the future for Lester. I always thought he was a tad overrated. He is a lefty with not-so-overpowering stuff. But as a lefty, he will always have value. I am going to work under the assumption that a lot of his struggles can be traced back to his cancer. I think he will be able to come into Spring Training next year in the best shape of his life. If this is the case, i see no reason why he couldn't join the club when the season starts. I don't know if their will be a need for him, however. With Buchholz not to far off, Gabbard has shown he can be a good #5 in the majors, and the possibility that Wakefield and/or Schilling will be back, there might be no room. I think a lot will have to do with how he can finish the last month and a half in the minors and the almost certain call up in September. I'm rooting for him, as all baseball fans should. The man has gone through a lot just to be pitching, success would be nice for this kid.

No comments: