The Sports Daily > Firebrand AL
Jon Lester To Make Debut?

This Saturday, we may see the next Andy Pettitte; the next Mark Mulder; the next Barry Zito. Jon Lester, who I think we all know very well, is rumored to head up I-95 on Saturday to pitch for the Sox in the night game of the twinbill against the Rangers.
If he does, he’d draw the start against old friend (foe?) John “Way Back” Wasdin. The 22-year old is currently 3-4 with a 2.95 ERA in 10 games started. As we know, he struggled in April with pitch-counts as recapped in my April to May Month to Month. At the time of the writing, he was 3-0 in 31 IP with a 1.23 ERA in may, and considering his ERA is at 2.95 with a cumulative 6.94 WHIP in April, we can say he’s been lights out in May.
Of course, David Pauley could throw a complete game shutout against the Yankees and get another start in Texas, but let’s remain realistic here. The best we can hope from Pauley is five to six innings, giving up no more than four or five runs. That won’t cut it to stay up in the majors, especially against a top offensive team such as the Rangers. The Red Sox are going to want someone with more talent to try to shut the Rangers down. This will also help the Red Sox gauge whether or not Lester is ready for the big-time. Suppose he pitches admirably – he could theoretically stay in the rotation for one or two more turns as David Wells rehabs his knee more conservatively.
Personally, I don’t want this to happen. We already have David Pauley in the majors, and I think we should give him a third start in Texas. I would hate to interrupt Lester’s progression in the minors, but to be fair, Lester has been lights out in May. The reason a lot of people are thinking this is that not only has there been a report in the Boston Globe about this possibility, the Red Sox haven’t ruled the possibility out, and Lester’s start has already been pushed to today from Saturday, a clear indication they’re lining Lester up for Saturday.
Lester may even be up for good, as David Wells indicated way back when that if he had one more setback in his rehab, he’d retire and give the spot to “that young kid, Jon Lester.” (Loosely paraphrased, by the way.)
I’ve also been hearing rumblings Jon Lester may be headed to Florida for Dontrelle Willis. On one hand, it’s hard to let go of Lester because of the hope he’s brought to the organization and his cost-controlled salary for three years plus arbitration the three years after that – but D-Train is a proven commodity, while (everyone say it now) There’s No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect. I think that may be one reason why the Sox are giving Lester a shot this Saturday. Perhaps to build his trade value up, but also perhaps to take the first step towards becoming a commodity not to be traded.
As a way to close this column out, I was next to Fenway today on my walk to AMC Fenway 13 to see the Da Vinci Code. Apparently, the stadium is not bisected by Yawkey Way and Van Ness St. anymore, apparently the section that Fenway is on that has Van Ness running beside it is now called Husky Way. Meaning that the Van Ness St. bordering Fenway is called Husky Way, but once you pass Fenway, it’s back to Van Ness St. The Northeastern University label is on it as well. I haven’t heard about this anywhere, but it’s nice to see my college representing at Fenway!

For the record, I liked the Da Vinci Code. (Yes, the book is better.)