Lester has arguably been the team’s ace ever since his breakout 2008, but Terry Francona has opted to give Josh Beckett the nod in 2009 and 2010. After Beckett’s struggles in 2010, though, Lester was the easy pick.
While Lester has typically struggled for the first month of the season, he’s been good in Arglington (1.93 ERA in 14 innings) and against the Texas Rangers in general (2.62 ERA, 44:11 K:BB in 44.2 innings) since 2008.
After being given the good news Wednesday, Lester wasn’t exactly ace-like in his spring training outing. He allowed three runs to the Braves on eight hits and two walks before being knocked out of the game in the fifth inning. He entered the game having thrown six shutout innings to start his spring.