For anyone, let alone one of the best baseball players alive, Jon Lester sure is terrible at all the parts of baseball that don’t involve throwing the ball to his catcher.
But he’s trying out a new strategy this spring in an attempt to elevate that part of his game as well. Let’s see how it’s going so far:
Jon Lester’s throws to first base are actually in mid-season form already. 😝 pic.twitter.com/Y4fmT2izXy
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) March 4, 2018
That was intentional.
“We’ve been working on the Jordan-to-Pippen bounce pass,” Lester told reporters of his plan with Chicago Cubs third-base coach Brian Butterfield.
“In [Butterfield’s] words, just eliminate all tension and bounce it over there. We’ve been working on it early in the morning. … I don’t really care what it looks like. I don’t care if it bounces 72 times over there. An out’s an out.”
Except in Sunday’s case, an out was an error that put a man on second base. But that’s in part because, unlike regular Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, minor leaguer Efren Navarro didn’t know what was coming.
“I feel bad for the guy today,” Lester added. “He had no idea what’s going on. He’s never been a part of it. With Rizz, probably the surprise wouldn’t have been there.”
The 34-year-old four-time All-Star continues to be just as baffled by the mental block preventing him from making the throw to first as everyone else.
“Obviously, from the outside looking in,” he said on Sunday, “it’s kind of like, ‘Why can’t you do that?’ Like I’ve said many times before, if I knew why, the things wouldn’t be an issue.”
So good for him for keeping an open mind and trying new things. Whatever happens to his throws in the future, they can’t really get much worse.