Chicago Cubs: Jon Lester named team’s Opening Day starter
By Jake Misener
The Chicago Cubs named veteran left-hander Jon Lester as their 2017 Opening Day starter Thursday. Jake Arrieta will follow in the starting rotation.
Following a 19-win season a year ago, gritty veteran Jon Lester will get the ball on Opening Day for the Chicago Cubs in St. Louis.
Lester, who is entering the third season of his six-year, $155 million deal, finished second in National League Cy Young voting. His rotation mate, Kyle Hendricks, also finished in the top five in NL voting.
Across his first two seasons in Chicago, Lester has already accumulated 30 wins to go along with a sterling 2.89 ERA. He started Game 6 of the World Series last postseason, helping pull his team back from the brink.
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In his first year as a Cub, he also started Opening Day. The bleachers were unfinished and Chicago fell to the rival Cardinals, but he’ll look for redemption this time around.
This season marks his first on the North Side without his personal catcher, David Ross, receiving for him. ‘Grandpa Rossy’ retired as a World Champion, allowing Willson Contreras to step in and fill the void.
Ross, meanwhile, was recently announced as the first MLB player to participate on Dancing with the Stars.
There’s no question Lester has done his part in living up to his team-record contract. He anchored the pitching staff the last two years, leading to a pair of postseason appearances and a World Series title.
The Cubs now look to him to get the new season off to a strong start.