Lester said he wants to play with the Cubs in 2020 and 2021, and ultimately finish his career in Chicago, Tim Stebbins of NBC Sports Chicago reports.
Lester is under contract through 2020 with an option for 2021, and while he said he'd like to stay in Chicago, the lefty also said he'd be open to returning to the team he started his career with, the Boston Red Sox. Lester also recently confirmed that he does intend to play in 2020 despite potentially being at higher risk for COVID-19 due to his 2006 cancer diagnosis, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. The veteran had a down 2019, finishing with a 4.46 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, but should ultimately slot in as the Cubs' No. 3 starter when the season is able to get underway.
Lester could serve as the Cubs' No. 3 starter behind Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks when the 2020 season is able to begin, Tim Stebbins of NBC Sports Chicago reports.
Having Lester second in the rotation would allow the Cubs to stagger righties and lefties, but Darvish and Hendricks outperformed Lester in 2019 and would seem to have earned the top two spots. That leaves Lester, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood to round out the rotation. Lester had a tough 2019 with a 4.46 ERA, his worst since 2012, though he had a 3.32 ERA as recently as 2018.
Lester allowed one run across 2.2 innings in Friday's Cactus League game against the White Sox. He gave up four hits and two walks while striking out six.
Lester was able to limit the damage from a parade of baserunners with his swing-and-miss stuff Friday. The veteran lefty was coming off three scoreless innings in his last spring start Sunday, and he'll look to keep building momentum heading into his sixth season with the Cubs and 15th overall in the majors.
Lester pitched three scoreless innings in Sunday's Cactus League game against the Mariners. He allowed two hits and struck out four.
After a rough first start of the spring in which he allowed five runs (three earned) in an inning of work, Lester bounced back nicely Sunday. The veteran lefty had a down 2019, as his 4.46 ERA was his worst since 2012 and his 1.50 WHIP was his worst since his rookie campaign in 2006. Heading into 2020, it would be nice to see a few more starts like Sunday's to inspire a bit more confidence in Lester.
Lester allowed five runs (three earned) on three hits in an inning of work in Tuesday's Cactus League game against the Rockies. He walked two and did not record a strikeout.
Coming off a middling 2019 campaign, this wasn't a great spring debut for Lester. The veteran lefty is a candidate to start Opening Day, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, but realistically, he's probably about the third or fourth best starter on the North Side at this point.
Lester allowed two runs on eight hits with no walks and four strikeouts across six innings during a no-decision against the Pirates on Wednesday.
As he's done before at PNC Park this season, the Pirates had plenty of traffic, but Lester mostly kept Pittsburgh off the scoreboard and the Cubs in the game. Chicago tied the game in the seventh to get Lester off the hook for the loss, but the overall numbers Lester turned in during 2019 were a little disappointing. He finishes the season 13-10 with a 4.46 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 165 strikeouts in 171.2 innings this season.
Lester allowed two runs on eight hits across six innings while not factoring into the decision Wednesday against the Pirates. He struck out four and did not issue any walks.
It was a solid final start of 2019 for Lester on a day in which the Cubs were ultimately eliminated from postseason contention. Overall, the veteran lefty took a step back this season with a 4.46 ERA and 1.50 WHIP after posting marks of 3.32 and 1.31, respectively, in 2018. On a more positive note, Lester saw his K/9 jump from 7.38 to 8.65. The 35-year-old is under contract in Chicago through 2021, and while his skills have diminished, he should remain a backend starter heading into next year.
Lester didn't factor into the decision in Wednesday's 3-2 extra-inning loss to the Reds, allowing one run on six hits and two walks over five innings while striking out five.
The veteran southpaw fired 49 strikes among his 77 pitches before turning things over to the bullpen with the score tied 1-1. Lester bounced back nicely from a couple of rough outings, and he'll take a 4.51 ERA and 161:52 K:BB through 165.2 innings into his next start Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
Lester (13-10) allowed seven runs (four earned) on 11 hits with two walks and two strikeouts across five innings to come away with a victory over the Pirates on Friday.
The Cubs made three errors in this one but made up for it with five homers and 17 runs, giving Lester plenty of support despite another lackluster outing. The veteran southpaw has been the definition of inconsistent lately, as he's either allowed one run or less, or six runs or more, in each of his last six starts. Lester owns a 4.59 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 156 strikeouts in 160.2 innings this season. He is scheduled to make his next start Wednesday at home against the Reds.
Lester (12-10) allowed eight runs on seven hits and three walks over 5.1 frames Sunday, striking out seven batters and taking the loss Milwaukee.
After limiting the Brewers to one run through three innings, Lester was crushed for five runs in the fourth and then two more in the six. He's walked at least three batters in three straight starts and six of his last seven, giving him a 154:48 K:BB this season. Lester will carry a 4.51 ERA into Friday's home tilt against Pittsburgh.
Lester will start Sunday in Milwaukee rather than Monday in San Diego as originally scheduled, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
The Cubs will swap Lester and Kyle Hendricks in the rotation for the rest of the season. Lester will get the short end of the stick this time around, as he'll be facing a tougher offense in a more hitter-friendly park. He'll wind up with a two-start week this week but will lose one next week.
Lester (12-9) earned the win against Seattle on Tuesday, pitching six scoreless innings and giving up six hits and four walks while striking out nine.
Lester was far from flawless in the victory, allowing 11 baserunners and loading the bags in three separate innings. Yet the crafty veteran emerged from his six frames without allowing a run, whiffing the final batter to escape each bases-loaded jam en route to a season-high nine strikeouts. Lester has now won three of his last four starts, giving up a combined total of one run in the three victories. He'll carry a 4.19 ERA, 1.45 WHIP and 147:45 K:BB into his next scheduled start at San Diego on Monday.
Lester (11-9) earned the win against the Mets on Thursday, tossing six innings and giving up one run on five hits and three walks while striking out four.
Lester entered the game with three losses and an ugly 8.51 ERA in five August outings but capped the month with a quality start, limiting New York to a single run on a J.D. Davis homer in the first inning. He picked up the win despite again struggling with his control, tossing first-pitch strikes to only 12 of 25 batters and issuing three free passes to raise his total to 15 walks in 30.1 innings this month. The southpaw will carry a 4.36 ERA and 1.44 WHIP into his next scheduled start, at home against Seattle on Tuesday.
Lester (10-9) allowed six runs on nine hits with one walk and two strikeouts across 4.1 innings while taking a loss against the Nationals on Friday.
After escaping every tough situation in his last outing against the Pirates, the Nationals made Lester pay by scoring multiple ways -- via home runs, sacrifice flies and two-out hits. As a result, the veteran southpaw gave up at least five runs in an outing for the third time this month. Because of this tough stretch, Lester has lost three of his last five starts and has seen his ERA rise more than half a run. He owns a 4.49 ERA, 1.45 WHIP and 134 strikeouts in 138.1 innings this season. Lester will look to get back on track at the Mets on Thursday.
Lester (10-8) threw six scoreless innings while allowing four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, earning a victory against the Pirates on Saturday.
Because of the walks and a couple errors, Lester had to work out of trouble multiple times, but he stranded seven baserunners, and the Pirates left the bases loaded in three frames during the Cubs win. Control is a concern with Lester at the moment, as he's yielded 11 walks in his last 15 innings, but owners will take the six scoreless innings. He owns a 4.23 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and 132 strikeouts in 134 innings this season. Lester will be back on the mound Friday at home against the Nationals.
Lester gave up three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out seven through five innings in a no-decision against the Reds on Sunday.
Lester generated 12 swinging strikes in only five innings of work in the no-decision. His last six starts coming into this contest have not been impressive, posting a 5.66 ERA. The 35-year-old has a 4.43 ERA and 129 strikeouts through 23 starts this season. Lester will make his next start Saturday against the Pirates at PNC Park.
Lester (9-8) allowed 11 runs (10 earned) on 10 hits and three walks across four innings to take the loss Tuesday against Oakland. He struck out six.
Lester pitched a clean first inning but the wheels came off in the second, when the veteran allowed eight runs. The lefty has been off in his last two starts, giving up 19 hits and 15 earned runs over just nine innings, which has bumped his season ERA up to 4.46. Lester will look to rebound in his next outing, which is scheduled for Sunday against the Reds on the road.
Lester (9-7) allowed five runs on nine hits and no walks across five innings Thursday while taking the loss against the Cardinals. He struck out six.
Lester pitched well enough in the early stages, allowing two runs while scattering baserunners through the first five frames. When he came back out for the sixth, however, he allowed the first three hitters to reach and watched as each of them came around to score, with the big hit coming in the form of a three-run home run from Matt Wieters. The veteran southpaw was coming off a quality start, but he sandwiched that outing between this one and another in which he allowed four earned runs to the Padres. Lester will try to get back on track in his next turn at home against the Athletics.
Lester threw seven shutout innings while allowing four hits with three walks and five strikeouts during a no-decision against the Brewers on Saturday.
Although he settled for a no-decision, this was a nice way to bounce back after he allowed a season-high 12 hits against the Padres during his last outing. While he's pitched well in July, Lester hadn't posted a shutout outing since May 1 before Saturday. He is 9-6 with a 3.63 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 110 strikeouts in 114 innings this season. Lester is set to face the Cardinals on the road in his next appearance Thursday.
Lester (illness) is scheduled to start Saturday's game at Milwaukee, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Lester was scratched from his start Wednesday due to a bout of bronchitis, but he'll only require a couple more days of rest before returning to the mound. The veteran southpaw has allowed seven runs on 20 hits over 12.2 frames in his first two starts coming out of the All-Star break.
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