Chicago Cubs: Jon Lester could be ‘restricted’ on Opening Night


After missed spring start, Lester may be on pitch count Opening Night

So there’s a chance we might not get to see a complete game shutout on Opening Night against the St. Louis Cardinals. While the Chicago Cubs want to start 2015 with a bang, it won’t be at the cost of ace

Jon Lester


Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon has said that Lester could be on a pitch count and be ‘restricted’ in the start after he missed his last scheduled action due to a “tired arm”. The issue, which Lester said would be something he would pitch trough during the season–was just one they felt was one to be cautious with this early.”Everything is fine,” Lester said Tuesday.“At the time it felt like the right thing to do. There is no reason to push yourself.”

Maddon said Lester has thrown 70 pitches in a game this spring once, and will be limited to around 60 on Thursday. He’s expected to pitch in minor league games this week and next, where they can control the environment. The end result? Don’t expect a 100-pitch outing against the Cardinals.

For the Cubs, the minor league games will allow him to get his pitches in, to get him to the level that he feels comfortable with. While the competition won’t be top of the line, it’s simply to allow him to face batters in the box, as opposed to bullpen sessions.

"“I’m not concerned who he pitches against,” Maddon said. “He just needs somebody standing up there so he gets the requisite number of pitches thrown. If he says he feels good, then I feel good.”"

With the missed start, of course we all dreaded the worst. And “dead arm” sounds so much worse than it is. But this is spring, and there’s no reason for the Cubs to risk their investment on this stage. The Cubs will have two days off in the first week of the season, so the bullpen can handle a heavy load if necessary.

Next: Pocket Aces: Do the Cubs need another arm?