Jon Lester made his debut for the spring as the Seattle Mariners held on to beat the Chicago Cubs 10-8. He gave up three doubles in his shaky start.
“I felt pretty good out of the stretch,” Lester said. “I worked on some different timings and different holds and slide steps and stuff like that, which is good to do, get some timing on that. It is what it is. … I probably made a bad decision on running Ed Lucas to second base [in the second]. He’d committed early on going back to second. I didn’t help myself too much. We got through two innings. My delivery felt good when I was in it, and the ball was coming out pretty good. Obviously, the results weren’t there.”
Folks, that’s all right. Even as the Chicago Cubs sit dead last in the standings, I’ve got a funny feeling that the team has a few tricks up those pinstriped sleeves.
Although, I don’t entirely agree with his philosophy on base stealers,
“Regardless of who’s back there, it’s my job to be better,” Lester said. “I’ve always believed that guys like Billy Hamilton, you might as well throw the pitch and let him go. Just get it over with and say, ‘Hey, man, just go and do your thing.’
I’m not sure it’s the right thing to take your eyes off the guys on base entirely. Keep your friends close but your enemies closer might apply here. Sure, it’s the catcher’s job to control the game but the pitcher should know exactly what’s going on everywhere.
This is coming from a pitcher who has trouble throwing to first.
Maybe I’m being a little too rough on Lester, it’s his first game of the spring, but he might like to work on that.
The Cubs released Rex Brothers who struggled last Sunday.
“We didn’t see him fitting in right now, and we thought it would be most fair to him to get him out there earlier, which would permit him to work out the best deal for him and his family moving forward,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “We’re just being proactive with that. He struggled with command.
That’s what spring training is for. Although I feel bad for the guy, it’s really good that they let him go early.
So, I think it’s difficult to gage a team in spring training. Baseball’s a team game and spring training is very much an individual assessment. If the Cubs finishing last in Cactus League play means that a transformation in the regular season to World Series contenders, then I’ll take that. I mean the guys are getting the home runs and once the machine is oiled and ready to go for Opening Day, then it’s going to be an interesting thing to watch.
With about two and a half weeks left until the big day, there’s a lot more shirt ironing to do and assessing. The player I’m most exited to see this season is Addison Russell. To me, he’s the complete ballplayer and will bring a lot of the excitement to the Cubs during the season.
Is anyone worried about the Cubs?