Cubs Pitcher Jon Lester Will Be Bouncing His Throws To First Base This Year… On Purpose
Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester has come up with a super new solution to his yips. This season the north side’s ace will be bouncing his throws to first base… on purpose… like a bounce pass in basketball. Seriously.
As anyone who follows baseball with any regularity knows, Lester has consistently had problems with throwing the baseball to any base other than home plate. He has failed at it so often it’s completely gotten in his head and every throw to a base is always an adventure.
So this year his new strategy is to skip accidentally bouncing his throws and just go ahead and do it intentionally.
Here’s a look at how this plan has been working out so far in Spring Training.
Well, that might have worked. You know, if someone had told first baseman Efren Navarro that Lester was going to do that BEFORE the game.
“I feel bad for the guy today,” Lester said after the game. “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.”
Lester also revealed that he’s been working on his throws to first this springs with third-base coach Brian Butterfield.
“We’ve been working on the Jordan-to-Pippen bounce pass,”said Lester. “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.”
For what it’s worth, Cubs manager Joe Maddon is firmly behind Lester bouncing his throws to first base on purpose.
“I thought that was perfect,” Maddon said about the play. “Efren’s not used to working with him, and he kind of stretched a little early. I honestly believe if Efren had played with him more, he would’ve been in position to catch that ball.
“It’s going to work. They’re working on it, and working on different methods to get it done,” reassured Maddon.
All that being said, it’s not like Lester CAN’T throw the ball to first base, because he can. Here he is picking off the Cardinals’ Tommy Pham after Pham took about a 20-foot lead…
See? He can do it. Then again, this throw occurred after his catcher Wilson Contreras went out to the mound and said to him, “Hey, motherf*cker, throw the ball to first.”
Sometimes all you need is the right motivation.