FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jon Lester met with the assembled media this morning and expressed a great deal of optimism for the 2009 season, including a hope that he can match or exceed his achievements from 2008. Here's a sampling of the Q&A:
(On coming into camp after his success last season)
"It's nice. I don't think it's any different from last year. Coming in, I kinda knew what to expect and what they expected of me. How to prepare myself for the season. It's nice to get things going again, get the ball rolling, see the guys. The past couple of days haven't seemed right without the position players, now they're showing up; get things going, feel like a team again.
(On the additions to the bullpen)
"It's going to be a fun year. ... As we proved last year, if someone goes down, we've got guys who can step in, take their role, and perform. We can afford to skip starts if we need to or baby an injury if we need to. We have guys who can come in and pick up that extra slack. It's going to be a fun year to have guys like [John] Smoltz, [Brad] Penny, guys with a lot of knowledge. You can learn a lot from them.
(On throwing a lot of innings last season)
"I'm not worried about it. As a starting pitcher, you kinda have to expect that. You want the innings, the workload. I'm not going to treat it any diffent. I'm just going to go pitch and hopefully get back up those numbers again this year."
(On what he learned last season)
"I think how important it is to be consistent, that's the biggest thing. Early on, with the ups and downs, and how to handle those, I think made the year a little bit easier for me to handle. I got on a little bit of a roll, and it just kind of carried over, it seemed like once I got on that roll, wasn't working on anything any more. I wasn't worried about mechanics, wasn't worried about release point, or throwing strikes, anything like just. I got in a rhythm and pitched. Just worried about pitching every five days, instead of mechanics and stuff."