Re: Lester, the new Beckett?
posted at 2/11/2013 11:10 PM EST
In response to BostonTrollSpanker's comment:
I'm not impressed by Lester's quotes and I see him as at best a decent number two starter at this point in his career, ideally a number 3 or 4 on a really really good team.
That said, Geo alluding to our team as the Titanic with no real knowledge of how the season will play out is pretty pathetic. I'm certain we will be better than last year.
I'm not a bootlicker by insisting that I see actual games played before I decide how good my team is.
Geo has become a pretty bitter dude, I'm starting to miss the Francona/Wakefield crack Geo, that dude was bitter also but he could crack a smile. Now he's competing for softy for the "stone-faced poster" competition
There aren't 30 true No. 1 pitchers in all of baseball.
Lester had four straight years of ERAs between 3.2s and 3.4s. Then he had his first bad year last year. So I'm willing to give him a mulligan for last year and see if he can revert to the 3.2s-to-3.4s pitcher he was for the previous four years. Call it No. 1, call it No. 2 -- I really don't care. I'll take that from him any time.
We'll see if he can turn it around, but I believe his biggest problems were his mechanics last year and once he got them straightened out he began to turn things around. Farrell, himself, said after the Sox played the Blue Jays last year that Lester's mechanics were off.
He finished somewhat strong with and ERA under 4.00 for both the final two months of the season -- 3.59 in Aug. and 3.96 in Sep.
His biggest problem was July -- 9.36 ERA.
Also, Lester's ERA in his seven worst starts was 9.35. His ERA in the other 26 starts was a respectable 3.92. Not the sub 3.50 it had been the previous four years, but I'll take it.
I think what this shows you is that for most of his starts, Lester had good stuff and wasn't too far off the pitcher we want him to be. But in seven starts, he got so scrwed up that he couldn't salvage anything.
Had his ERA in his bad seven starts been lower, but his ERA in the other 26 starts been higher -- to still finish with a 4.82 ERA -- I'd be worried. Because that would truly be a mediocre pitcher. But the fact that Lester in his best-26 starts managed a 3.92 ERA shows that he is capable of being a good pitcher.
So I think Lester still has the stuff and maybe Farrell can iron out the kinks that caused him to blow up when he was off. Fix those mechanical flaws will cause his bad starts to not be as bad and likely make his good starts be even better.
And yes, Lester needs to stop worrying about bad calls, etc. and just pitch. I think mental issues were part of the problem, but I think it was more out of frustration of not being able to solve the problem with his mechanics.