Cubs Camp: What David Ross thought of Jon Lester's first live pitching session

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Jon Lester threw live batting practice for the first time in Cubs Summer Camp Wednesday. Manager David Ross was pleased with the veteran southpaw’s outing.

“He didn’t look quite as clean yet at the stretch the second time out, which is expected,” Ross said. “Was nice to see him look really good the first inning.”

Lester pitched two simulated innings, alternating with relief pitchers. According to Ross, his bullpen sessions up to that point hadn’t incorporated that kind of down time.

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“To get up and down is new for him,” Ross said. “Being out of the stretch is a little new. He told me it felt a little bit like a bullpen when he went out of the stretch without a runner – he’s looking over there with no runner. So, as we ramp this thing up and get him in live competitions, all that stuff will fall in place. He’s a professional, been doing it a long time, but I was definitely encouraged by that first inning that he threw today.”

Lester, 36, is on a different schedule from the rest of the presumed starting rotation. Yu Darvish, Kyle Hendricks, Tyler Chatwood and Alec Mills all threw multiple innings in intrasquad scrimmages over the weekend.

But Lester wanted to make sure he, as he put it to pitching coach Tommy Hottovy, save as many bullets as possible.

“He’s in a really good spot,” Hottovy said on Sunday.

 

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