The news might be unsurprising, but it's still big for Jon Lester. The 27-year-old left-hander will make his first opening-day start for the Red Sox, manager Terry Francona officially announced Wednesday. (MLB.com )
Lester has already proven himself one of the best pitchers in the majors, and this is one of the final steps in establishing him as such in the public eye. He made his first All-Star Game last season and finished fourth in Cy Young voting. He was 19-9 with a 3.25 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. He struck out 225 batters in 208 innings.
The thing is, though, he was already pitching on that level for the two previous years. Lester started 65 games in the previous two seasons and compiled a 3.31 ERA and 1.25 WHIP along with a 31-14 record. He struck out 225 hitters in 2009.
Might the next natural step be a Cy Young award? It's entirely possible. He'll start his quest on the first day of the regular season.
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