Cubs

/ by Tim Stebbins
Presented By Cubs Insiders
Cubs

Count Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester as someone who is not in favor of MLB's new pitch clock.

Following his spring training debut in which he pitched two scoreless innings, Lester shared his thoughts on MLB's addition of a pitch clock.

"Baseball is baseball. You're not going to speed it up. You're not going to change it," Lester said. "You can put the pitch clock there and the game is going to flow the way the game flows.

"If you have a 6-5 game, it's going to be three and a half hours. If you have a 2-1 game, it's going to be two hours and 50 minutes.

Last week, MLB announced that it is implementing a pitch clock for all spring training games this season. While no decision has been made yet, there reportedly is a strong possibility that the clock will be used in the regular season, too.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred suggested that the league is focusing more on pace of play rather than bigger changes, such as adding a designated hitter to the National League. 

Lester suggested that baseball would be better off trying to boost its on field product rather than make games go by faster.

"I think we kind of need to get over the whole mindset of changing the pace of play, as opposed to the product on the field," he said. "I think if you have a product on the field, fans show up and they'll be there for the three hours."

 

Lester on projections for Cubs' pitching staff

It's no secret that Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA system projects the Cubs to struggle in 2019. The system projects the Cubs' pitching staff to allow nearly 100 more runs in 2019 than they did in 2018.

Lester alluded to the unkind projection on Monday, joking that critics view the team's rotation negatively due to its age. Lester, Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels and Jose Quintana are all at least 30 years old, while Kyle Hendricks will turn 30 in December.

"Apparently we're just old and ready to be on the backside of our careers. I'll let a computer program tell me whether or not I'm going to be good this year," Lester said sarcastically.

"I think the key to us is just being healthy. You lose [Yu] Darvish for three quarters of the year, that's a huge knock on our rotation.

"He looks great; We get [Brandon] Morrow back to solidify that back-end of the bullpen. I love where we're at. I love us as a staff. It's just a matter of going out and pitching now. I'm not too worried about our guys."

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