Three Chicago Cubs who will be hurt most by shortened schedule
Chicago Cubs: Lester may be most affected by this- good or bad.
Jon Lester has already cemented his place in Cubs history since coming to the Cubs as one of the most significant free-agent signings in Chicago sports history. His performance, tenacity, character, and work ethic have been worth every penny of the six year/$155 million contract he signed with the club before the 2015 season.
That being said, last year was not a good year for the big lefty. Despite a 13-10 record, Lester put up his worst ERA (4.46) since 2012, and it was the second time in three years that he’s put up an ERA over 4.00. His velocity has been dropping (2 mph in the last four seasons, per statcast), his consistency has been lacking, and you just don’t know what kind of Lester you’re going to get when he walks out to the mound.
In short, he’s declining. He’s getting old. As many have said before, Mother Nature is unbeaten against all-comers. With an abruptly-halted spring training, a layoff, and a restart, it’s a good bet that 36-year-old pitchers will not be the guys most sports fans will be betting on should a baseball season start.
Sure, Lester could very well prosper with fewer innings throughout the season. Still, his notoriously inconsistent ways the past couple years, his declining velocity, and his penchant for pitching out of jams don’t bode well for success in 2020.