Jon Lester will occassionally give Baseball America readers an inside look into life in the minors. In the first installment of his Prospect Diary, he explains what it’s like to face the Durham Bulls stacked lineup.
“Well, to start off it’s good to finally get a good quality start under my belt, and against a pretty good hitting team as well. Facing guys like B.J. Upton, Delmon Young, and Elijah Dukes is fun for me. That’s the future of the Devil Rays and baseball. It makes you take your game to another notch. After not really getting off to a good start and coming into tonight I was a little worried, I’m not gonna lie, but you just have to put those other starts behind you and move on. Even though I got the loss, I thought things went well for me last night. My stuff was good, even though the results weren’t there.. The game is finally starting to slow down for me and I can focus from pitch to pitch . . . it makes a hell of a difference when the mind slows down and you can focus.
“Coming to Triple-A, I really didn’t know what to expect. I’ve come to find out everything is different–teammates, travel, the game,and pitching. Things are starting to click, finally though. It’s nice to find a place with your team and begin to fit in. It didn’t help that I also have a target on my back because of the things that I accomplished last year, and that I have a short pitch count to begin this year–so it makes it tough for me to fit in..
“It’s nice though to have some teammates that like to hunt and fish. These are a couple of things that I like to do in my spare time. We’ll go out before batting practice and shoot our bows at targets on the field. It sounds boring, but it breaks things up and passes time pretty well. However, I haven’t found any places to fish yet in Rhode Island. As soon as I do though you’ll find me on the river, lake, stream–wherever I can–getting a line wet.. It’s nice just to get away from your teammates and all the hustle and bustle of the every day grind.
“Catch up with you next time and thanks for reading what’s going on this season.”