Jon Lester and April Just Don’t Seem to Get Along

I am beginning to think Jon Lester just isn’t cut out for April. He is like the anti-Wakefield.

The record shows Jon Lester’s April in 2008 wasn’t great and his April in 2009 was worse.  And now, two starts into 2010, Jon Lester is right back at it. Yesterday was a total mess as Lester gave up twelve base runners (Nine Hits) while recording just fifteen outs.  And if you want your analysis a little more granular ….. Jon only managed to throw 10 first pitch strikes (to 27 batters) and of the nineteen balls hit into play, nine went for hits. That is a staggeringly high number even after you subtract out a little for bad luck. So in a nutshell, he fell behind all afternoon and he got smacked when he left balls up in the zone.  

Other thoughts on yesterday ……

* The Victor Martinez double play watch is now up to FOUR. That puts him on pace for 93. And on the stolen base front, he has nailed just one of twelve base stealers. Hmmmm, stuff like that should come in handy as he negotiates a new contract. As I said over the Winter, this guy is not a good candidate for a long-term deal. He is not a good defensive player and he hits better when he is playing first or DH. Basically, his role is that of a DH who gives a team some roster flexibility in that he can catch a little and he can play first. What is that worth? I’d be shocked if this guy gets 3/30 and my guess is he is looking for 4/48. (I have a feeling this will be a frequent topic at this site. Just a hunch)

* A big story in yesterday’s game: The Twins threw 24 first pitch strikes to 33 hitters yesterday. The message there is …… you either hit the first pitch or you start your at bat in the hole.

* In case anyone was wondering, Alan Embree had a miserable outing last night in Pawtucket where he gave up a hit, four walks and got just one out. Since Scott Schoeneweis has been decent and Embree has an April 15 opt out clause in his contract, my guess is we won’t be seeing a new lefty-specialist coming up anytime soon.

* Down on the farm, Casey Kelly made his 2010 Debut by throwing a couple of innings against New Britain. In his first trip against AA hitters, CK gave up three hits and struck out two, while yielding one unearned run. Michael Bowden also pitched last night, going three innings for Pawtucket and giving up just one hit.

* Can’t claim to have a first-hand take on the new park but it sure looks swell and it is a pleasure to have this stop on the AL tour be outdoors once again. And it’s good for baseball to have a real park in a real market. MInny has a very good club, a solid organization and fans that will come out. And with the revenues this park will spit out, there is no reason why Minnesota can’t have a 90-100M payroll.

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