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Article:Is Lester a Lost Cause?

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From www.thebaseballfix.com

 

Now this has been a popular topic of late, why I am not quite sure. Maybe it is the fact that Jon Lester is under the microscope that is Boston? Either way I find it hilarious how quick someone can write a player off after a whopping thirty starts. With that in mind I decided to go inside the numbers and compare it to the man he is most often compared to. Andy Pettitte. Now this will be a little different as the sample sizes are very similar except I will be using Pettitte’s rookie season of 175 IP versus Lester’s total of 164.2 which was amassed over three seasons. The stats I will be looking at are ERA, WHIP, K/9 and H/9.

|

Player

|

IP

|

WHIP

|

ERA

|

H/9

|

K/9

|

|

Pettitte

|

175

|

1.41

|

4.17

|

9.41

|

5.86

|

|

Lester

|

164.2

|

1.62

|

4.74

|

9.29

|

6.56

|

 

As you can see, they are scary close over roughly the same sample size. Now again I would caution before I continue on that one is over three seasons and the other over one. However Lester for the most part is still a “rookie” in the sense of starts, experience and the set back that cancer provided.

            Now looking at the numbers we see that both early on had average strikeout rates with Lester coming out slightly ahead. They also both had early troubles with base runners with a poor WHIP ratio. Pettitte come’s out ahead here slightly but just like Lester’s K/9 and H/9 it’s simply not that much of a difference. More over what I think these numbers tell us is how quickly we can fall out of favor with a young player now a day in baseball. Basically Lester is being viewed as a failure and maybe a fifth starter at best. Where in reality he is a young lefty not yet in his prime, a lefty who at times looks dominant and at others struggles to throw strikes. Maybe in the end he will never amount to much, or maybe he will become a top of the rotation starter. Either way I know it is to early to call it. Just imagine for a second if the Yanks had given up on a young lefty with similar numbers, I know the Red Sox fan in me wishes they had.

 

*Pettitte finished third in ROY voting with those numbers and 12-9 WL Record


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