John Farrell: Everything ‘status quo’ in terms of Jon Lester's status, slated to start Sunday

July 30, 2014 - 1:54 pm

The trade winds might be swirling around Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester, but the constant rumors seem to have little effect on manager John Farrell. Speaking to the media during his pregame press conference prior to Boston'€™s game against Blue Jays Wednesday night, Farrell said that Lester'€™s status with the club has not changed since Tuesday night, adding that Lester'€™s next start is slated to be Sunday night against the Yankees. "Not that I'€™m aware of. Status quo,"€ Farrell said of whether anything had changed regarding his ace moving in a potential deal. "€œAs a result, we have him slated on Sunday to pitch here." Lester was originally scheduled to pitch Wednesday, but had his start pushed back, fueling speculation that the veteran southpaw would soon be dealt. Farrell said the decision was made in order to allow Lester to relax during this stressful stretch of days, but also acknowledged that seeing a player on a team past the trade deadline after being scratched from a game is a rare precedent. "€œI think that'€™s why yesterday, when it came to a head, that we felt like it was best for all to just back out of this for a couple of days with the start, just so he wasn'€™t carrying around all the uncertainty,"€ Farrell said. "I'€™m sure it'€™s been very difficult for him. That'€™s why the change was made." Farrell continued: "It'€™s a unique set of circumstances, it'€™s an extremely talented pitcher and as I mentioned yesterday, with all the uncertainty, I think it'€™s in the best interest of everyone involved that we push him back." Whether it has been dealing with trade whispers or contract negotiations, Lester has had to focus on more than just his performance on the mound in 2014, but has been able to shake off any possible disturbances and has turned in his best campaign as a major leaguer in 2014 (10-7, 2.52 ERA, 1.12 WHIP). Farrell said that he'€™s been impressed with how Lester has handled himself under the added pressure. "I think I'€™ve mentioned a couple of times that, for those who are in a similar situation as he, maybe not to the profile that Jon is, because of his accomplishments, but he'€™s been a model for all that has been asked of him,"€ Farrell said. "The potential distractions, how he'€™s tried to keep that a minimum from his teammates, from himself. He's been respectful to not only Ben and our owners and his teammates but I think everyone that walks into this ballpark has a sense of what Jon Lester is about. He's genuine. He's forthright. And he's one hell of a pitcher." The fallout from losing an ace such as Lester will obviously have a big effect on the team'€™s record going forward, but for Farrell, who has been in the same clubhouse as Lester for most of the pitcher's career, the departure of the lefty would be a tough pill to swallow. "I hold on to a timeline of experiences with him,"€ Farrell said. "You see a young guy come up, you see him mature, you see him accomplish certain challenges fundamentally and see him play out on the field and then you share with him all the successes that he has brought not only to this team, this organization but certainly himself. "So it runs deeper, just because of being his pitching coach for a number of years and then being in this position, so there'€™s a unique set of circumstances here. I couldn'€™t be more proud of watching the way he has matured and the talent that he is. To know Farrah [Lester] and their two sons and to see how they'€™ve grown as a family, to see how he'€™s grown as a man, it'€™s been really awesome to witness."€