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34 Jon Lester SP
Height/Weight: 6-4/240 | Birthdate: 1/7/1984 | Birthplace: Tacoma, WA | Bats/Throws: L/L | Team: Chicago | College: No College | MLB Experience: 10 | Salary: $11,625,000 | Owned/Started%: 98/87 | Average Draft Position: 28.67
CHC

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Cubs' Lester goes seven innings in no-decision


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/23/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester tossed seven innings and allowed two earned runs in a no-decision on Friday against the Diamondbacks.

The outing was Lester's first no-decision since April 24, he had produced four consecutive wins May before Friday. Lester recorded four strikeouts while allowing five hits and walking two batters.

Lester has posted a 3.56 ERA this season in 55.2 innings.


Jon Lester gives Cubs seven strong innings in win on Saturday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/16/2015) Cubs ace Jon Lester continued his dominance on the mound Saturday against the Pirates. Lester went seven solid innings, allowing just one run on nine hits. He walked one and struck out seven as he improved his record to 4-2.

The only run Lester surrendered was a solo home run to Sean Rodriguez in the third inning. He got into a bit of a jam in the fourth when he had runners on the corners with one out. But he got back-to-back strikeouts to get out unscathed.

Lester threw 74 of his 110 pitches for strikes as he lowered his ERA to 3.70 on the season. His next start is scheduled for Friday in Arizona.

"Jonny was fabulous, and that permitted everything to work for us today because their pitcher's really good too," manager Joe Maddon said, per ESPN.com. "You have to pitch better than good pitching to win, and we had the better pitching today."


Cubs pitcher Jon Lester strikes out six in win on Monday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/11/2015) Cubs pitcher Jon Lester allowed three runs on five hits in six innings of work in Chicago's 4-3 win over the Mets on Monday.

Lester cruised through the first three innings of the game without allowing a hit. Then in the fourth, Lester allowed an RBI single to Kevin Plawecki. Then in the sixth, Lester surrendered back-to-back home runs to Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores. He managed to finish the inning without any more damage.

"I think it was a story of good, bad and indifferent all in one," Lester said. "It's something to build on, but the biggest thing is that we won."

Lester, now 3-2, pushed his ERA to 4.80 in 41 2/3 innings of work. He will look to get back on track Saturday against the Pirates.

"I think Jon's just fine," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I see him getting better every time out. ... Give him a little bit more time as he builds into this thing. I like what I'm seeing."


Cubs pitcher Jon Lester earns win in Wednesday's game


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/6/2015) Cubs pitcher Jon Lester earned his second win of the season during Wednesday's 6-5 win over the Cardinals.

"That's why you want a guy like him on your staff," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said, per MLB.com. "Typically, his stuff kept getting better as the game progressed, we've seen that a lot. I thought his cutter became more pertinent later in the game. He made good pitches when he had to. He keeps making positive strides, and that's good for us."

Lester tossed seven solid of innings of work, allowing four runs (one earned) on seven hits. He also struck out six batters and walked two. He surrendered a solo home run to Johnny Peralta in the fourth inning.

It was Lester's second-consecutive appearance pitching seven innings and surrendering one earned run or less. He is now 2-2 with a 4.04 ERA on the season.

"He's just got a real good sense of his game," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Lester. "He knows when to expand the plate. He's got deception, he's got a good variety of pitches. He's just a good pitcher. He knows what he's doing."

He is expected to go for his third win of the season Monday against the Mets.


Cubs LHP Jon Lester finally lights-out in Friday start


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/1/2015) Perhaps a flip of the calendar from April to May was all it took for Cubs newcomer Jon Lester to find himself on the mound.

Lester, who had improved the last two starts, put it all together Friday in a shutout win over Milwaukee. He gave up just three hits with one walk and four strikeouts in seven innings. He shrunk his ERA from 6.23 to 4.71 in the process.

"This is a big day for me, personally," Lester said, per MLB.com. "It always goes back to your first start in Spring Training, your first start of the season, get that first 'W.' Obviously, I would've liked to have had it happen a little while ago, but that's not the case. Today's a big day. We'll celebrate this, have some fun with it, and tomorrow, back to work."

The left-hander struck out Wily Peralta with the bases loaded in the second, then cruised. He really locked in late, retiring the last 10 batters he faced.

Lester will try to take his momentum and run with it next Wednesday in St. Louis.


Cubs starter Jon Lester remains winless, takes no-decision Friday


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/24/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester allowed three runs on five hits and struck out 10 in six innings of work Friday for a no-decision, remaining winless on the season.

Lester's three runs allowed came on two groundouts and a sacrifice fly.

"I'm learning," Lester said, who had spent his whole career in the American League. "New league, new faces, new guys. I'm kind of figuring them out as we go."

Lester's next start is scheduled for Wednesday against the Pirates.


Cubs SP Jon Lester not concerned about slow start


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/23/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester is aware his track record in the first month of the season isn't very good, which is why he isn't concerned about another slow start in 2015. The left-hander is 0-2 with a 6.89 ERA through three starts and is 13-15 with a 4.04 ERA in 43 career starts in March/April.

"I think the only good April I've ever had was last year," Lester said, per MLB.com. "I'm usually not a fast starter. Usually I guess it's maybe mid-May, June where you get into that rhythm of every five days and arm strength has built up and it's started to warm up and everything falls into place."

Lester said he is healthy and on schedule after dealing with a dead-arm phase near the end of spring training.

"The biggest thing was pushing the extra start back and getting those pitches," he said. "As far as physically, it didn't alter anything."


Cubs manager Joe Maddon still believes in Jon Lester


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/19/2015) Despite Jon Lester's rough start to his Cubs' career, manager Joe Maddon has not lost faith in the free-agent left hander, per the Chicago Tribune.

Lester suffered the loss to the Padres on Sunday, giving up three earned runs in six innings.

"He's getting better. I think he is getting a little sharper with everything," Maddon said. "He still seemed frustrated on certain pitches today ... [but] I think it was a nice step forward."

Lester (0-2, 6.89 ERA) signed a six-year, $155 million contract with the Cubs during the offseason.


Starter Jon Lester takes loss on Sunday, still winless as a Cub


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/19/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester (0-2) gave up three earned runs in six innings to fall to the Padres on Sunday.

The Padres got two of their three runs off Lester in the second inning, courtesy of a two-run homer from Will Middlebrooks.

"For the most part, I did a pretty good job of keeping the ball on the ground and that's important, it means I'm getting action on the pitches I need, getting some mishits, which was good today," Lester said.

Lester struck out four and walked two and threw 97 pitches in the loss.

"He gave us a solid chance to win today. We couldn't get the hit when we needed it," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said to MLB.com.

Lester will try for his first win as a Cub on Friday in Cincinnati.


Cubs' Jon Lester vows to get back on track, start pitching like ace


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/14/2015) Jon Lester is not exactly off to the start the Cubs envisioned when they signed him to a $155 million contract in the offseason and making him their ace.

Lester could still be working his way back from the dead-arm period he experienced late in spring training, but the veteran lefty isn't trying to make any excuses for his poor start to the season.

“Obviously, I haven’t hit my stride yet, but I don’t want to use anything as a crutch,” Lester said after Monday's start against the Reds, per CSNChicago.com. “Things have to be better. When you have (four) guys going out there and doing their jobs, when you’re the loose end of the chain, that’s never good.

“Back to work tomorrow. A lot of things to work on, a lot of things to improve on. And I’ll get back to being the front end of that chain instead of the back end and letting these guys down. It will be better."

Lester added, “Physically, everything’s fine. Absolutely.”


Cubs P Jon Lester allows six runs against Reds


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/13/2015) Cubs pitcher Jon Lester allowed six earned runs during Monday night's 7-6 extra-inning win over the Reds. 

Lester went six innings and allowed 10 hits in the process. He struck out four batters and walked none. This gives Lester nine earned runs over two games, which puts his ERA at a 7.84. 

Lester's next scheduled start is this Sunday against the Padres. 


Cubs' Jon Lester says he has no issues throwing to first base


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/8/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester hasn't thrown to first base with a runner on since April 2013. While he says he is comfortable holding the runner at first base, he said the fact he hasn't done it in a while is "blown out of proportion."

“I really didn’t have to do it over the past year or so,” Lester said Wednesday morning, per ESPN. “Coming over here is a little bit different, more runners, part of the game. Something we’ll implement. This was not a big issue until someone brought it up on television. Now I’m sitting answering questions about it.

"Did it [threw over] in spring, did it all spring. The biggest thing right now is working on something different. Anytime you’re working on something different it takes a while.”

The Cardinals stole three bases off Lester during Sunday's season opener. 

“He’s never been a terrific pick-off guy, but it’s never been something that’s been a concern either," general manager Jed Hoyer said. “He’s never been Andy Pettite. Last year he got away from it. It’s something he needs to work on.”


Cubs pitcher Jon Lester struggles in Opening Day loss


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/5/2015) Cubs pitcher Jon Lester was hoping for better returns in his Opening Day start with the new club. Lester allowed three runs on eight hits in just 4 1/3 innings against the Cardinals. 

The Cardinals tagged Lester early and often. Jason Heyward doubled to right and Matt Holliday knocked him in to start the scoring in the first. Lester allowed another run in the second, before getting tagged for three consecutive hits in the fifth, leading to the third run and the hook.

He added six strikeouts and two walks to his totals and has a 6.23 ERA.

"Not much working tonight," Lester said to ESPN.com. "I left too many balls up in the zone."


Cubs batting Jorge Soler second, Jon Lester eighth Sunday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/5/2015) The Cubs announced the starting lineup for Sunday's season opener against the Cardinals, with right fielder Jorge Soler slotted into the second spot of the lineup.

Soler spent most of his brief action in 2014 batting fourth or fifth, but he'll slot in between center fielder Dexter Fowler and first baseman Anthony Rizzo Sunday.

The full Cubs lineup Sunday: CF Fowler, RF Soler, 1B Rizzo, SS Starlin Castro, LF Chris Coghlan, 3B Mike Olt, C David Ross, SP Jon Lester, 2B Tommy La Stella.

Ross draws the start at catcher with former Red Sox teammate Lester on the mound. Manager Joe Maddon will bat the pitcher eighth, Olt and La Stella join Rizzo and Castro in the infield for the team's first game, with Arismendy Alcantara set to come off the bench.


Cubs' Maddon: Jon Lester might throw 100-plus pitches in opener


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday starting pitcher Jon Lester (arm) might throw 100 or more pitches in the season opener Sunday against the Cardinals, but it depends on the stress level of the outing, per ESPN.

Lester, who has been dealing with arm fatigue since March 20, threw 84 pitches in a minor-league outing Tuesday.


Cubs pitcher Jon Lester throws 84 pitches in minor league game


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Cubs pitcher Jon Lester tossed 84 pitches in a minor league game in Arizona Tuesday, striking out four in the outing.

"I wasn't the sharpest today but got to where we needed to," Lester said. "Once we get into a game with some fans and some adrenaline, I think things will sharpen up a little bit."

Lester, who is dealing with a tired arm, was scratched from his last Cactus League start. He is still on track to start Sunday's season opener against the Cardinals.

"We'll figure it out," Lester said. "In this game, there's always things you have to overcome, and this is part of it. Come Sunday, everything will be fine. We'll go out there and have a game plan."


Cubs' Lester says he has a 'normal day' during minor-league outing


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester threw 54 pitches in a minor-league game Thursday, per MLB.com. Lester gave up one hit and one walk, while striking out three of the 12 batters he faced.

“What I was really watching was him and watching his face and he never seemed like anything bothered him, so I know his arm feels great and that’s all I was worried about,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He felt good and his energy was good (Thursday). … He threw some nice fastballs, nice cutters, yeah, yeah, yeah, but I thought he looked comfortable and that’s the most important thing.”

Thursday was the first time Lester pitched in a game since being scratched last week due to a tired arm. Lester is scheduled to make one more start before the season opener (April 5) against the Cardinals. He is scheduled to throw 75-80 pitches in a minor-league start next week.

“Today was good, today was a normal day,” Lester said. “[I’ll] come back tomorrow and go about work again.”


Cubs pitcher Jon Lester could be 'restricted' for Opening Day


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Cubs pitcher Jon Lester may be on a pitch count and "restricted" for his Opening Day start against the Cardinals April 5, according to ESPN.

Lester, in his first season with the Cubs, missed his most recent spring start with arm fatigue.

"He might somewhat be restricted regarding length in that first game," manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday.

Maddon also said Lester has thrown 70 pitches in a start this spring and will be limited to 60 Thursday. Lester is expected to pitch in minor league games for the next two weeks to control the environment.

"I'm not concerned who he pitches against," Maddon said. "He just needs somebody standing up there so he gets the requisite number of pitches thrown. If he says he feels good, then I feel good."

"Everything is fine," Lester said Tuesday. "At the time it felt like the right thing to do. There is no reason to push yourself."


Cubs' Jon Lester throws 40 pitches Tuesday, will throw 60 Thursday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester threw 40 pitches during a side session Tuesday, according to baseball analyst Bruce Levine. He is expected to stretch out to 60 pitches during a minor-league game Thursday, per the Chicago Tribune.

“We want to be able to control the number of pitches,” manager Joe Maddon said, per MLB.com. “If he’s having a long inning, then we can flip it over and get him into the dugout. It’s just more of a controlled environment. He’s fine, we want to be able to control it.”

Lester missed his last spring start Saturday due to arm fatigue, but the Cubs are expecting him to be ready for Opening Day.

“I’m not concerned who he’s pitching against, just so he’s standing up there and gets the requisite number of pitches thrown,” Maddon said. “If he says he feels good, I feel good.”


Cubs' Jon Lester throws side session, on track for Opening Day


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/23/2015) Cubs pitcher Jon Lester threw a side sesson Monday after being scratched from his last scheduled start due to a tired arm and said he's on schedule for Opening Day, MLB.com reports.

"Today was more getting out there, getting my feet under me and going through my normal routine," Lester said Monday. "The other stuff will be there. We’re still in the process of building arm strength and arm speed and that will come as the innings get higher. I’ve always felt it takes me a little longer, maybe toward the end of May, when you feel strong, you feel good and just go through the five days with the games, throwing 100 something pitches every fifth day. It takes some time to where you’re consistent with everything."

Lester has allowed six earned runs in 8 1/3 innings this spring while striking out nine and walking one.


Cubs ace Jon Lester not concerned at all about arm fatigue


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/21/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester, who was scratched from his spring start Saturday due to dead arm, said he is not concerned about the arm issue, per MLB.com. Lester, who will throw a side session Monday, said he is dealing with no pain.

Lester added it's normal arm fatigue and said it usually happens a little earlier or later for him, per ESPN.

"If this was during the season, it wouldn't be an issue," he said. "You can ask every pitcher, it's an every year thing for everybody. It's nothing out of the ordinary."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Friday he is expecting Lester to be ready by the season opener (April 5) against the Cardinals.


Cubs' Maddon expecting Jon Lester (arm) to be ready by opener


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/20/2015) Cubs manager Joe Maddon said ace Jon Lester is having his next spring start pushed back due to dead arm, per the Chicago Sun-Times. However, Maddon doesn't believe the injury will affect Lester's ability to pitch in the season opener (April 5) against the Cardinals.

"He came out of the chute really strong and probably went after it a little bit too hard too early," Maddon said, per Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

Lester opened the spring with five scoreless innings in his first two starts before getting rocked for six runs on seven hits (two home runs) and one walk in 3 1/3 innings during his last start Monday against the Padres. He is 0-1 with a 6.48 ERA.


Cubs' Maddon proud Lester did not blame catcher for bad outing


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/17/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester had his worst outing of the spring thus far Monday against the Padres, yielding six runs on seven hits (two home runs) in 3 1/3 innings. It was his first game working with catcher Welington Castillo, who tried to take the blame for Lester's poor outing but the veteran pitcher wouldn't have it.

"I was so proud of Jon Lester," manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday morning, per ESPN. "Lester would not permit [catcher] Welington Castillo to take blame for any of his shortcomings yesterday.

"It was so refreshing and good. This is so awesome, that your guy is that accountable and that your guy gets it. He probably elevated Welington so much from that conversation. I could not be more proud of a player on my team than I was yesterday."

Lester had tossed five scoreless innings in his first two spring starts, allowing four hits and no walks.

"Wely came in a couple times in the dugout and apologized for some stuff, and I don't know what he was getting at," Lester said. "I'm the one chucking the ball, he's not. When it comes down to it, it doesn't matter who you have back there, you're the one trying to execute the pitches, and I flat out did not execute the pitches."


Cubs pitcher Jon Lester struggles in start Monday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/16/2015) Cubs pitcher Jon Lester struggled to find a rhythm Monday, surrendering five runs over 3 2/3 innings to the Padres. Lester said he wasn't feeling right from the get go Monday, reports MLB.com.

"Everything was flat, the ball was up," he said. "I'd execute a pitch, and go back to throwing two or three where I didn't want to. You're not always going to have starts like I've had the past two where you have to go down to the bullpen to throw extras. Obviously, I didn't do a very good job today minimizing any damage. It's things to improve on, things to work on. It's Spring Training, and I hate saying that, but you have step back and look at the big picture. By no means am I happy with how things went today."


Cubs SP Jon Lester Ks three in first spring action


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/6/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester, who signed a six-year, $155 million contract in December, looked sharp in his first spring action on Friday against the Reds. The left-hander struck out three of the six batters he faced, per MLB.com.

"He's been Jon Lester," manager Joe Maddon said. "I think he's a guy who leads by example, although if he were to say something, everybody does listen. He's been that guy, he's been exactly what I expected, a consummate pro, quiet in his own way."

Lester will be Chicago's opening day starter on April 5 against the Cardinals.