Jul 5, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) pitches during the first inning in game one against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Given the recent success and popularity of the Red Sox, fans have come to expect a handful of Boston players to partake in the All-Star Game festivities every year. Thus, it comes as a surprise that the only Red Sox player on this year’s American League All-Star team is Jon Lester. He may not be the only Red Sox player on the team for very long, as Koji Uehara is the first pitcher on the list of injury replacements and will almost definitely wind up on the team, but the message still stands that Lester is representing the Red Sox in what could be his final season in Boston.
Don’t get me wrong, though; Lester absolutely deserves to be in this year’s midsummer classic. In his age 30 season, the southpaw is putting together a career year, posting a 2.73 ERA (almost right on line with his 2.75 FIP)– by far the best of his career– and a 4.21 K/BB, also the best of his career by a wide margin. His success this season has placed him in the American League’s top ten in ERA (ranked 7th at 2.73), wins (tied for 7th with 9), K/9 (ranked 9th with 9.00), and strikeouts (ranked 7th with 122).
Lester has also already compiled 3.7 wins above replacement according to FanGraphs, placing him in elite territory among starting pitchers. He clearly deserves a berth on this year’s All-Star squad, as does Uehara (who has once again been absurd this year, posting a 1.36 ERA and 10.20 K/BB), and it will be great to see him potentially pitch as the American League tries to secure home field advantage in the World Series. This may be the last time we see Lester represent the Red Sox on such a large stage and we should be grateful everyday to see one of the better Red Sox pitchers of all time don the Boston uniform.