Sunday, March 02, 2008

Jon Lester, Wild Man

I guess control was too much to ask - but we won anyway. Lester acknowledges his mistakes, but insists that he's happy with how he did - even if the numbers (and his pitch count) say otherwise. I guess that's better than him getting bummed out about a premiere performance and spiraling into self-doubt and uselessness, and it's encouraging to hear him say that some of yesterday's blow away pitches would have been contact last year, but I wonder how much of that is rust on a Twins team that has a paltry 21 hits in its first three games. I know, I know, it's far too soon to pick apart Lester's performance - even if it's what's becoming a classic Lester - and we should all focus on the positive, like the fact that his arm didn't fall off. I just think it's indicative, and so does PECOTA: if you believe in statistical projections, Baseball Prospectus ranks Lester far below Clay Buchholz, ranking Clay higher in a whole variety of categories: everything from wins and games started to strikeouts/walk, strikeouts per nine innings, VORP, WARP, and the aptly named Stuff.

The point: yes, Lester's pitched once, and Buchholz hasn't pitched at all, but I won't be surprised if - and this is if push comes to shove about the rotation - it's Buchholz who gets the roster slot.