The Time to Extend Lester is Now

jon lester extend him now

Pitching in Major League Baseball is a premium; having a top of the staff ace and leader is a must if you want to win championships. The Sox have that person in Jon Lester, who is in the last year of his contract.

The Sox have been trying to negotiate with Lester and he has said he wants to stay and would take a hometown discount such as Dustin Pedroia did last year. With the notable contract of Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer about to hit market, the Sox would be wise to lock him up now.

The longer they wait Lester’s price could go up. He just threw a 15 strikeout gem on Saturday May, 3 and has been the staff leader coming of the 2013 World Series victory. He has overcome adversity before—having Lymphoma in 2006, then coming back to win the clinching game four of the 2007 World Series against Colorado.

He also threw his 1st no hitter on May 19, 2008, as if winning a World Series wasn’t enough to show his toughness. He would overcome adversity yet again with disastrous years in 2011 and 2012 for the Red Sox, bouncing back to win the World Series in 2013. His career stats have him at 103-60 wins/losses with a 3.72 era and 1,425.0 IP.

Now compare that with Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers who at 29 years of age has a record of 76-46 and a 3.62 era with1,058.0 IP. Scherzer just turned down a reported 6 year contract worth 144 million dollars. Scherzer has only had one big season which was last year. With that being said, it is time to find out Lester’s bottom line, try to meet him in the middle and lock him up before he changes his mind.

Red Sox Off to a Slow Start

Red Sox off to a slow start

Throughout Spring Training in Fort Myers, Fla., the Boston Red Sox talked about moving on from their 2013 World Series Championship and focusing on the 2014 season. After being under .500 after the first week of the season, it may be time for the Red Sox to hit the reset button.

The Red Sox were outscored 17-8 in their three game series against the Milwaukee Brewers last weekend. Boston’s offense was inactive in two of the three games and never seemed to get on track throughout the series.

The same could be said during their series against the Texas Rangers, as the offense struggled to score when runners were in scoring position.  In their 10-7 loss to the Rangers in game two of the series, the Red Sox left a total of 19 runners on base.

The shuffling of the Red Sox lineup may be the reason they’ve struggled to generate runs so far. The team has used six different batting orders in their first eight games.

It’s too early to know if the Red Sox will miss Jacoby Ellsbury, who departed to the New York Yankees last offseason, but his absence has affected the team early on. Daniel Nava, who’s primarily been used in the lead-off spot early this season, has struggled so far.  Going into game three of the Ranger series, Nava is hitting .138 and has an on-base percentage of .219.

Ellsbury was not only a good hitter, but he got on base and was able to turn a single into a triple with his ability to steal bases. With Nava struggling to get on base, the lead-off spot just simply hasn’t had enough runners on base.

During the Red Sox first week of the 2013 season the team stole eight bases and were caught only once. Through eight games the 2014 season, they have attempted to steal a base just three times and were successful only once.

The offense hasn’t been the only problem for the Red Sox during the first week of the season; sloppy defense has also been an issue. The team has committed seven errors (five in the Milwaukee series) in their first eight games. To put this in prospective, in Red Sox Manager John Farrell’s first season, the team didn’t make an error in its first seven games of the 2013 season.

It isn’t time to panic in Boston, but the Red Sox need to find an identity until Shane Victornio and Will Middlebrooks come back from the DL. With the Sox playing a four-game series in the Bronx against the Yankees this upcoming weekend, they can’t afford to keep having these offensive and defensive issues.