Chicago Cubs: Projecting which starters will pitch the best in 2020
Chicago Cubs: Despite his age and despite a disappointing 2019 season, Jon Lester isn’t done yet
Lester is 36 years old.
Lester has over 2500 innings on his left arm in the regular season and an additional 154 innings in the postseason.
Since 2016 when he was an All-Star, posted a 2.44 ERA and won 19 games, he’s lost over two miles per hour on both his fastballs. Last season, he had a 4.46 ERA and gave up a National League-high 205 hits.
Yet, because it’s Jon Lester, it’s hard to see him absolutely tanking in 2020 despite the fact that his career is undoubtedly on the downswing because of his age.
After randomly posting a 4.82 ERA in 2012 with the Boston Red Sox, he shed over a point off his ERA the next season posting a 3.75 in 2013. After a 4.33 ERA in 2017 a season after his World Series heroics, he made an All-Star team and again shed over a point off his ERA in 2018 in his age 34 seasons.
Lester responds to adversity, is tough as nails, and competes. It was tempting to put Chatwood in this slot (which would have been a heck of a hot take), but given who he is, how he has responded to adversity in the past, and the extra motivation he has after a bad 2019, Lester will slot in as the Cubs No. 3 starter in 2020.