Jon Lester pitched reasonably well yesterday against the Royals, looking like himself (right down to the errant throw at first base). If something in his elbow was bothering him, you couldn’t tell from the way he commanded his pitches, cruised at his normal velocity, and generally held the Royals down.

Of course, no one should have been expecting Lester to show any signs of the elbow bothering him in this start simply because news broke this weekend that he’s got a bone chip in there. Lester’s dealt with it for years, and the Cubs signed him in late 2014 with full knowledge of the chip, so, yeah, it would have been pretty strange if this just happened to be the start when it showed itself.

For his part, Lester discusses his outing against the Royals, and his general lack of concern about the elbow:

As Lester says, he’s never missed any time with an elbow issue, and if you give just about any veteran pitcher an MRI, it’s going to show something.



You can read more of Lester’s comments here and here, among other places. In the end, it’s not something you can really be more worried about today than you were a few days ago – before you even knew the issue existed – because the Cubs laid out $155 million to sign this pitcher even after they, themselves, confirmed the existence of the bone chip. Their willingness to move forward at that point should tell you plenty.

That said, this conversation will pop up any time Lester deals with any arm soreness/stiffness/inflammation. And it’ll be a totally legitimate conversation at that point, especially given the surgical option, which could remove the chip and take Lester out of commission for two to three months. Any time you can avoid surgery, you do so. But if worse comes to worse, at least there’s an option.

But that’s a discussion for another day (one that hopefully never comes). For now, Lester looks good, feels good, and the panicky among Cubs fandom will just have to go back to overstating the impact of his fielding/pickoff issues.




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