With throwing schedule disrupted, Opening Night for Lester in jeopardy
It’s not terrible news for the Chicago Cubs, but it’s not the greatest either. After missing a start in Spring Training, it’s possible that the Cubs’ newly signed ace Jon Lester could miss his Opening Night start. While not a serious injury, the team wants to be sure Lester is ready to go at 100 percent.
“If Jon is ‘yes, I’m good,’” then we can fill in the blanks quickly,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon
Pitchers today follow very specific throwing routines. From the day they pitch, to all the throwing in between, they have a routine. And any time you have it thrown off, in this case by dead arm (which is common by the way), you don’t want to make things any worse.
For Lester, the dead arm syndrome is common for him. But in this instance it happened much later in the spring than he was used to. Manager Joe Maddon chose to have Lester pitch in a minor league start, where they have the ability to control how many pitches he throws in an inning.
With another outing on Tuesday, the Cubs are waiting to confirm the rotation–or at least Lester’s role in it–until after he pitches. The likelihood is Lester will be a go for Opening Night, but will see a pitch count just to be safe.
The rest of the rotation should fill out as expected, even with the most recent improved outing from Edwin Jackson. He and Travis Wood were the last two standing in the battle for the fifth spot in the rotation. Without so much being said, it appears Wood is the favorite for the spot. Aside from that most recent start, Jackson had been less than impressive.
It’s possible that Jackson will fill in the role of long reliever, in hopes he can build some value for a possible trade. That would be best case scenario for the Cubs, as they would eat a lot of money if he’s outright released. Which if that was the plan, they probably would have done so prior to Spring Training–for him to pursue options as well as the club itself.
After his outing tomorrow, the Cubs should know where Lester stands–and his status for Opening Night against the St. Louis Cardinals.