With Jon Lester’s struggles this season I have heard people say that he is not going to become the “ace” pitcher they thought he could be. Jon Lester does not need to become an “ace”, he has been one for four years. I am not sure where the impression that he wasn’t an “ace” came from, but lets look at how he compared to the rest of the American League from 2008 through 2011.
Ranks among AL starting pitchers 2008-2011 (min. 648 IP):
- ERA – 3.33 (5th)
- Wins – 65 (3rd)
- FIP – 3.43 (5th)
- K/9 – 8.68 (2nd)
- WAR – 20.9 (4th)
I split the list into two groups; the first is the more traditional stats used to evaluate pitchers and the second group is the more advanced and accurate metrics. Looking at either group puts Jon Lester at the top of the AL with the other aces like Verlander and Sabathia. But unfortunately, looking at these numbers also makes his first half performance even more disappointing.