When Joe Maddon signed to be the Chicago Cubs manager and Jon Lester was signed this offseason to be the team’s ace, the pair were seen as the saviors of a franchise desperate to end its famous World Series drought. However, Lester will miss his next spring start with an arm issue.

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Maddon Discusses Lester Injury

Saturday, March 21

Manager Joe Maddon discussed the concern over Lester’s injury on Saturday, telling Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times that ““I totally understand. Whether it’s an organization or a fan base.” Madden continued, telling Wittenmyer “That’s why we’re just trying to make our best guess right now and keep it at a minimum, keep him ready for Opening Day. 

Lester Not Concerned by Arm Issues

Saturday, March 21

Lester talked about the issues with his arm, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. “I don’t think it’s anything to be concerned about. There’s no pain, there’s no worry, there’s no anything on anybody’s part.” Lester noted, “If it was April 15, it wouldn’t be an issue,” and that he expected to make his next scheduled start on Thursday, according to Muskat

Lester Suffering From ‘Dead Arm’

Friday, March 20

Jesse Rogers of ESPN noted that Lester will miss his next start with “dead arm.” Muskat noted that Maddon insists it will not impact Opening Day.

Lester, who signed a a six-year, $155 million deal this offseason, came to the Cubs as a two-time World Series winner and three-time All-Star selection. He finished 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 220 strikeouts in 219.2 innings pitched between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics, the team he was traded to midseason. 

For some players, the pressure put on Lester’s shoulders after signing such a big deal and playing in front of a fanbase yearning for a title would have been tough to bear. But to hear Lester speak this offseason, you’d hardly think he was giving it much thought.

“I’m secure in who I am, who I am in my routine,” Lester told reporters in late February. “My contract doesn’t represent me or justify me. I represent myself. My competitiveness doesn’t change because I have ‘X’ amount of dollars in the bank. That doesn’t drive me.” 

Now, of course, Cubs fans will just be hoping he can get back out on the mound as soon as possible. Expecting a World Series title in the first year of the Maddon era was probably always unrealistic, but expecting that level of success without Lester in the rotation is pure folly. 


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