Cubs' Maddon: Lester Will Miss 1 Start, Maybe More

It appears Jon Lester is headed for the injured list with a strained hamstring.

Laurence Holmes Show
April 09, 2019 - 12:25 pm

(670 The Score) Cubs left-hander Jon Lester will miss one and perhaps two starts after suffering a hamstring strain, manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday.

The expectation is that Lester will land on the 10-day injured list. He exited in the third inning of a 10-0 win against the Pirates on Monday after tweaking his hamstring rounding third base and running home to score a run in the bottom of the second.

Lester was set to undergo an MRI on Tuesday, the results of which Maddon hadn't learned of yet around the noon hour. Nonetheless, Maddon knows Lester will be sidelined at least for a time.

"Of course he's going to miss a start," Maddon said on the Laurence Holmes Show. "Coming out of the game yesterday, Jonnny is going to miss at least one and probably maybe even two starts. He may. So you have to start developing plan B. We'll start developing plan B. We have different options."

Lester's next scheduled start was Sunday, when the Cubs host the Angels. It remains unclear who will start. Right-hander Tyler Chatwood, banished to the bullpen after losing a rotation spot in 2018, would be a candidate. The Cubs could also call up a pitcher from Triple-A Iowa.

"We have to figure out how we're going to work it from there," Maddon said. "(Mike Montgomery) is on the DL right now, so you have to wait on him. I think Tyler Chatwood has been throwing the ball well. And again, I don't even know if the guys upstairs have other thoughts regarding this."

Lester is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in three starts. The Cubs are off to a poor 3-7 start, and two of those wins came with Lester on the mound. For that and many reasons, Maddon knows they'll miss Lester even if it's for a short period of time.

"I've really watched the evolution of Jon over the last five years, four years, how he has really grown up and matured as a baseball player," Maddon said. "I know he was very accomplished by the time we got him, but once David (Ross) left, he's really been spreading his wings. I really enjoyed it. Jon, he and I have really great conversations. I bounce things off him all the time. It's just a different version of Jon Lester, and I think it's reflected in the way he's pitching. He stopped worrying about people stealing bases, and the focus is at home plate. It's been a great result because of that."