Lester is back
Big announcement before today’s game. Jon Lester will start Monday night in Cleveland and Julian Tavarez is now in the bullpen, starting today. I think everyone thought this move was still a couple of weeks away, so the Red Sox obviously did a nice job keeping it on the down low.
Why now? It seems to me that Tavarez had simply regressed to the point where the Red Sox did not feel he was giving them any chance to win. Seven and a half game lead or not, that’s a bad feeling to have.
Brendan McGair of the Pawtucket Times caught up with Lester at Pawtucket earlier today and here are Jon’s thoughts on coming back to the show.
On when the news came:
“I kinda heard [the possibility of a call-up] a couple of
days ago, but couldn’t say much. I found out for sure about the plans [Sunday].
I’m excited and ready to go.”
What was the reaction: “Little of a businessman-like approach. It really hasn’t
sunk in yet, but I’m sure it will [Sunday night and Monday], for sure. I’m
looking at it as another start right now and hopefully don’t get too nervous
come [Monday in Cleveland].”
Is this a short or long term promotion?
“They haven’t said anything. All I know is that I’m going
with the team [Sunday night] and pitch [Monday], that’s all I know.”
What’s going through your mind? “Lot of excitement. Like I said earlier, it really hasn’t
sunk in yet, but I’m sure it will. It will be a little surreal, but I’m going
to enjoy it.”
About being an inspiration and coming all the way back
from cancer: “I don’t know about inspiration. I did what everyone else
would have done in that situation. I want to come back and play baseball. I
love to do this; this is my job. I just want to come back and be with these
guys and do this for a long time.”
You feel ready? “Yeah. I feel physically good. Mentally I feel good.
After my last start [last Wednesday, where he allowed three runs in seven
innings vs. Ottawa], things are starting to come around.
Pitch count expected to be an issue Monday? “I don’t think so. They haven’t said anything.”
Possibility of Schilling coming back and you heading to
the bullpen, you hear anything like that? “No idea. All I know is that I’m pitching [Monday], and
we’ll go from there. If that’s what they want me to do, than that’s what I’ll
do. If they want me to stay in the rotation, than I’ll stay in the rotation and
do the best I can.”
That’s all for now.