Tag:Jon Lester
Posted on: March 16, 2011 12:56 pm
 

Lester to get ball for Red Sox on opening day

By Matt Snyder

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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Category: MLB
Posted on: February 23, 2011 9:35 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:25 am
 

You oughta be in pictures

Andres TorresA documentary is being made about Giants outfielder Andres Torres and his 10-year journey in the minor leagues and life-long struggles with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle has the whole story, but it got me to thinking -- what other big-leaguers would make a good movie?

Brian Wilson -- Torres' teammate would be perfect for a comedy, or he could have a  fake documentary like Joaquin Phoenix's I'm Still Here.

Dirk Hayhurst -- The Rays reliever already has the book, they can just turn it into a movie. It would be high on comedy, low on juicy details. Hayhurst was living with his grandmother, close to quitting baseball when he turned his career around. It's not the perfect ending, he's had a handful of big-league appearances, but is with the Rays on a minor-league contract.

Josh Hamilton -- Everyone knows the story, and it's perfect for Disney.

Jon Lester -- Unless Disney decides to do Lester's story instead. Lester was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma as a rookie in 2006. The next season he won the game-clinching game for the Red Sox in the World Series. The season after that, he threw a no-hitter. Last season the lefty finished 19-9 with a 3.25 ERA.

Miguel Cabrera -- We're not sure how this one will end yet -- it could either be a feel-good story, or a tragedy. We'll stay tuned.

Coco Crisp -- Forget that beer commercial guy, Crisp may be the most interesting man in the world.

Ugeth Urbina -- The two-time All-Star reliever is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence in his home country of Venezuela after being convicted on two charges of attempted murder. In 2005, Urbina attacked five farm workers on his property, accusing them of stealing a gun. He attacked the men with a machete and tried to pour gasoline on them. (Suggested on Twitter by @23yanksgoyard.)

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 10, 2010 12:02 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2010 9:46 am
 

MLB Facts & Rumors Cy Young Awards

The major baseball awards will be announced next week, and the staff at MLB Facts and Rumors is making our choices this week. Today, David, Evan and Trent name their Manager of the Year selections. As with the BBWAA awards, a first-place vote is worth seven points, second place four, third place three, fourth place two and fifth place one.

While the National League award is for the best pitcher in the league, the American League vote seems to be a referendum on the BBWAA and its acceptance of newer statistics and abandoning the win as its basis for measuring a pitcher's success.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CY YOUNG AWARD

Felix Hernandez David Andriesen
1. Felix Hernandez, SEA
2. David Price, TB
3. CC Sabathia, NYY
4. Jon Lester, BOS
5. Jered Weaver, LAA

Some people will knock Hernandez for his team’s offensive futility, but I won’t. And if you take wins out of the discussion, he wins easily. Price edges Sabathia with an ERA nearly half a point better. If it seems strange Cliff Lee isn’t in this discussion, keep in mind he missed the first month of the season.

Evan Brunell
1. SP Felix Hernandez, SEA
2. SP CC Sabathia, NYY
3. SP Francisco Liriano, MIN
4. SP Jon Lester, BOS
5. SP David Price, TB

Lee stays off this ballot because in his time in Texas, he wasn't quite Cy Young-worthy as compared to full seasons of the above. Hernandez was otherworldly, but let down by one of baseball's worst offenses in history. With the run support of the Yankees, Hernandez very well could have reached 25 wins.

C. Trent Rosecrans
1. Felix Hernandez, SEA
2. David Price, TB
3. Francisco Liriano, MIN
4. CC Sabathia, NY
5. Cliff Lee, SEA/TEX

I think enough has been said about the Hernandez vs. the world, but I'm not sure Price or Liriano have quite gotten the credit they deserve. So many people have set it up as Hernandez vs. Sabathia, and I'm not so sure that's the right question.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CY YOUNG AWARD

Roy Halladay David Andriesen
1. Roy Halladay, PHI
2. Adam Wainwright, STL
3. Josh Johnson, FLA
4. Ubaldo Jimenez, COL
5. Tim Hudson, ATL

This one is really close, but I’m letting Halladay’s perfect game and NL lead in innings pitched put him ahead of Wainwright, who was second in the NL in wins and ERA. Jimenez came back to earth after his ridiculous first half, as did Johnson, who missed the last month but still finished with the ERA title.

Evan Brunell
1. SP Roy Halladay, PHI
2. SP Adam Wainwright, STL
3. SP Josh Johnson, FLA
4. SP Ubaldo Jimenez, COL
5. SP Tim Hudson, ATL

Halladay got more than he bargained for with Adam Wainwright neck-and-neck for the Cy race, but Halladay gets the nod due to innings pitched and xFIP, which clearly shows that Halladay was the better pitcher. His domination is evident to all.

C. Trent Rosecrans
1. Roy Halladay, PHI
2. Adam Wainwright, STL
3. Josh Johnson, FLA
4. Ubaldo Jimenez, COL
5. Tim Lincecum, SF

It seems to be hard to believe that Halladay didn't live up to expectations -- and considering some expected him to win 30 games, he didn't live up to the highest of expectation. But he still had an amazing season and should win this one going away against some pretty good competition. Still, the fact that Halladay did what he was able to do in a bandbox of a ballpark, it's quite impressive. Kind of like the Rookie of the Year, give me any of these guys in a Game 1 and I feel pretty good.

MLB Facts and Rumors AL Cy Young Award
It's at least a runaway here, as Felix Hernandez gets the nod, making stat-heads happy everywhere. CC Sabathia and David Price tie for what Ricky Bobby would call "first loser." I still have enough faith in the BBWAA that it'll get this one right, despite so many doubters.

MLB Facts and Rumors NL Cy Young Award
The voting isn't as close as the race, but Roy Halladay is the unanimous winner. Expect the real vote to be similar.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 30, 2010 10:43 pm
 

It's lights out in Chicago -- literally

Hey White Sox, it's one thing to start cutting costs to sign free agents this offseason, but you do have to keep the electricity on until the actual end of the season.

With Red Sox reliever Robert Coello set to deliver a pitch to Ramon Castro in the sixth inning at U.S. Cellular Field, a power outage left most of the stadium in darkness. All the infield lights were affected, while the outfield lights stayed on. The teams left the field, and reporters on the scene are saying the lights are slowly coming back on. A team announcement said the power outage affected the entire South Chicago neighborhood.

Red Sox fans will no doubt find the episode a fitting metaphor in the team's final road game of the season. Jon Lester was going for his 20th win in his final start of the season and got shelled, lasting just four innings and giving up eight runs (including a grand slam by Paul Konerko, who is making himself more expensive by the day).

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 7, 2010 1:17 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:05 pm
 

Rays test their bench

Joe Maddon How about this for a record you didn't know existed?

Monday night the Rays tied a major-league record by using six pinch hitters in one inning. It was the ninth time that's happened -- and the seventh in September, when rosters expand.

Joe Maddon did it in the seventh inning of Monday's game in Boston because his team was being blown out and wanted to give his regulars some rest and get his bench players some at-bats.

"They all looked good up there. We like our depth, we like our bench," Maddon told the St. Petersburg Times ' Marc Topkin . "I want to keep them sharp, I've got to get them out there. Hopefully as we proceed and hopefully make the playoffs we're going to have to make a lot of tough decisions regarding who those 25 people are going to be, so these guys have got to play. If they're going to contribute the rest of this month they just can't sit on the bench."

How'd it work? Well enough for six pinch hitters to get to bat -- as well as three starters -- who accounted for two of the three outs. None of the starters got a hit, with Carlos Pena walking. The pinch hitters went 3 for 4 with two walks, scoring all three runs in the inning.

Here's how it went down:

The Red Sox started the inning with Robert Coello replacing starter Jon Lester.

Dan Johnson, batting for Ben Zobrist, singled to center.

Kelly Shoppach flied out to center.

Matt Joyce, batting for B.J. Upton, singled to right.

Willy Aybar, batting for Jason Bartlett, singled to center, loading the bases.

Brad Hawpe, batting for Carl Crawford, walked, scoring a run.

Desmond Jennings, batting for Evan Longoria, walked, scoring a run.

The Red Sox pulled Coello and put in Dustin Richardson.

Carlos Pena walked, scoring a run.

Out goes Richardson, in comes Scott Atchison.

Reid Brignac, batting for Sean Rodrgiuez, pops out to first.

Rico Baldelli flied out to end the inning.

The last team to use six pinch hitters in an inning was the Mariners in 2007 and the last two do it in a non-September game was the Expos in May of 1970.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: July 8, 2010 6:11 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 6:21 pm
 

Girardi leaning toward Price to start for AL?

David Price On a media conference call for All-Star managers Thursday, Yankees/American League skipper Joe Girardi seemed to hint that the Rays' David Price will get the nod for the AL.

"I believe he is a strong candidate,'' Girardi said of Price. "Obviously when you look at the five pitchers that we have going, the five starters -- and you have to exclude [Boston’s Clay] Buchholz because he’s on the DL -- Price, [New York’s Phil] Hughes, [Seattle’s Cliff] Lee, [Boston’s Jon] Lester, and [New York’s Andy] Pettitte, these are all qualified guys. And you look at who’s on turn.

"Price is leading the American League in wins. He’s an extremely strong candidate. I think he’s second in ERA. He’s had a fabulous first half. And we’ll look at that as we get closer to Sunday."

Girardi has until Monday to announce his decision, and it would be tough to argue against the selection of 24-year-old Price. He has won a league-best 12 games, is second to Lee among qualifying players with a 2.42 ERA and Tuesday would be his natural day to start.

Lee might be able to make an even better case with his AL-best ERA (2.34) and WHIP (0.95). But he's won four fewer games than Price (even though that's hardly his fault) and would be on four days' rest. Then there's the matter of his thought-to-be-impending trade, and the possibility that he might be in another uniform -- or in the National League -- by the All-Star Game.

Speaking of the National League, Charlie Manuel is in a bit of a tough spot. Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez would seem to be a no-brainer given his accomplishments this season (15-1 record, 2.20 ERA, no-hitter), but he had been surprisingly human in his three starts (8.66 ERA) prior to Thursday's impressive win over the Cardinals. Florida's Josh Johnson, on the other hand, is on fire right now and leads baseball with a 1.70 ERA.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.



 
 
 
 
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