The 25: Jon Lester

In Uncategorized by berselius26 Comments

Previous programming note from Myles:

Now that the season is fast approaching, and I've started to get the itch to talk baseball again, I'm hoping to pick up the pace. Hopefully I can convince the other writers to do the same. I'm going to take a look at the 2017 Cubs, starting with the best players and taking a descending order. I'm just sorting by projected WAR (ZIPS). 

Programming note from Berselius:

Don't gently suggest to me what to do.

I'm going to upend this and break the descending WAR thing since there already is a half-written Rizzo post sitting in drafts.

Jon Lester (SP)

In 2016: Lester was a Cy Young contender, shared the NLCS MVP with Baez, and came out of the bullpen on short rest in Game 7 of the World Series, which you may have heard the Cubs happened to win. He posted a 2.44 ERA with a 24.8% strikeout rate and 6.5% walk rate, good for 4.3 WAR.

In 2017: Lester is projected to post a 3.08 ERA, 8.92 K/9 and 2.14 BB/9 (Zips does not project percentages), good for 4.2 WAR.

In Haiku

No More David Ross

Still cannot throw to first base

An ace anyway

Lester's peripherals took a bit of a dip last year, mostly due to a few more balls finding their way over the fence and slight regressions in strikeouts and walks. Despite that, he posted the lowest ERA of his career. Playing in front of one of the (if not simply the) greatest defenses in baseball history may or may not have helped with that. And to be honest, playing so far out in the tail of team seasons like that make me skeptical of the general ways of the way these things are valued or even how he pitched, and makes me lean more towards his bWAR number of 5.3. But whatever, Lester is good. He also endeared himself to me a bit last spring training (I think), talking about how his rocky first month or two of his Cubs tenure may have been due to anxiety stemming from changing teams and living up to the new deal, something that certainly resonated with me. Well, not the millions of dollars part. If only.

The only real question mark with Lester is the same one we had going into 2016, namely, will teams go nuts on the basepaths against him this year. David Ross backpicks and JavyTag™ magic suppressed some of it, but aside from some Brewers guys most players seemed so far out of their comfort zone in the giant leads they were able to take that they didn't know what to do. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Brewers or the Padres to try to go nuts on him this year, since they have nothing to lose and don't seem to have as much Play The Game The Right Way baggage as other teams. Maybe this year we will see Lester with a personal second baseman (Baez) to replace his personal catcher.

Aside from the whole game theory stuff, the coolest thing about Lester is that he's a good pitcher in his mid-30s and most of the projection systems aren't predicting any real decline at all. This was a fantastic FA deal by team McThoyer. *knocks on all the wood he sees*

 

Share this Post

Comments

  1. dmick89

    Can someone using anything other than iOS and Mac Safari confirm a white space at the top of the page, as well as a slight scrolling issue when you first start scrolling?

    (0)

      Quote  Reply

  2. Ryno

    “Based on the team’s past front office dysfunction, I expect they end up keeping Cousins too long, trading him for pennies on the dollar after trashing him anonymously in the media for months, then making a panic trade to get Brock Osweiler as a bridge to some sixth round QB that Dan Snyder’s second cousin once saw play well against Akron. ”

    But first they’ll fire their GM (who’s widely regarded as a top 5 talent evaluator) on the first day of the league year. I mean, McCloughan’s about the only competent football mind in that organization.

    On top of that, they blamed it on him having a relapse (he’s a recovering alcoholic).

    I never really had much of an opinion of that team, but I’m pretty firm in the “they’re a pile of shit” camp now.

    (0)

      Quote  Reply

  3. Myles

    “I’m going to upend this and break the descending WAR thing since there already is a half-written Rizzo post sitting in drafts.”

    I’m letting it marinate.

    (0)

      Quote  Reply

  4. Myles

    Ryno, apparently their GM fell off the sobriety wagon again. Can’t have that in your org – NFL has a strong, proud tradition of zero tolerance for any type of drug (dying laughing)

    (0)

      Quote  Reply

  5. Ryno

    “Ryno, apparently their GM fell off the sobriety wagon again”

    I detected your sarcasm, but there are rumors that he didn’t actually fall off the wagon. The rumor is that “they” didn’t like that McCloughan was getting all the credit and used his alcoholism as a scapegoat. The rumor further suggests that the WAS brass intended to do this all along.

    Considering the franchise, I’m inclined to believe that rumor.

    (0)

      Quote  Reply

  6. Ryno

    And yeah, it does seem funny to fire your GM and cite alcoholism on the (likely) same day your bulk discounted shipment of toradol arrives.

    (0)

      Quote  Reply

  7. Berselius

    “But first they’ll fire their GM (who’s widely regarded as a top 5 talent evaluator) on the first day of the league year. I mean, McCloughan’s about the only competent football mind in that organization.

    On top of that, they blamed it on him having a relapse (he’s a recovering alcoholic).

    I never really had much of an opinion of that team, but I’m pretty firm in the “they’re a pile of shit” camp now.”

    Maybe Larry Lucchino has been secretly calling the shots there.

    (0)

      Quote  Reply

  8. dmick89

    Yeah, all the plugins have been disabled. Something wasn’t quite right yesterday so the host has been working on the issue since last night. I wouldn’t be surprised if we got hacked or something. Someone wants to steal our confidential files and leak them to Wikileaks.

    (1)

      Quote  Reply

  9. dmick89

    If one of you admin guys see a comment like the one that was above, go into the comments section of the admin panel and mark it as spam. We don’t have any spam protection right now so we have to do it manually.

    (0)

      Quote  Reply

  10. dmick89

    Yeah, we have nothing protecting the site right now. It looks like our install of WordPress is broken so it’s going to take longer to get this sorted out than initially thought.

    (0)

      Quote  Reply

Leave a Comment