One day after news broke that the Cubs planned to change the game that Jon Lester will start this weekend, Major League Baseball named Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke as his replacement.
Lester was named to his fifth All-Star team on Sunday and originally planned to pitch in the game. That was until the Cubs decided to use Thursday’s off day to flip-flop Kyle Hendricks and Lester in the rotation for the weekend. This means Hendricks will pitch on his normal fifth-day schedule, and Lester will be pushed back a day to Sunday.
Technically, Lester, who is one of the three Cubs All-Stars this season, could’ve still pitch in the All-Star Game on Tuesday if he wanted. Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin, who is also scheduled to start Sunday, already informed the MLB of his desire to pitch Tuesday.
When Lester was asked on Wednesday if he planned to bypass the rule, he said he was “not eliminating anything,” but at the end of the day, the decision was ultimately up to Cubs’ management.
“I pitch for the Cubs,” Lester said. “I’m worried about Sunday. I’m not worried about anything other than that.”
Lest will still attend the All-Star game in Washington D.C. and be introduced as an All-Star; he’ll just be considered inactive.
Greinke is 9-5 with a 3.39 ERA across 19 starts this season. Since May 9, the 34-year-old has gone 6-3 with a 2.88 ERA in 13 starts.
Contributing: Gordon Wittenmyer.