Friday, February 2, 2007

BOSTON -- Coming up through the Red Sox system, lefty Jon Lester was known for his great command and poise.
Those attributes have helped in recent months as he is in the midst of a remarkable comeback from lymphoma.
The 23-year-old southpaw showed up Wednesday at Red Sox camp in Fort Myers, Fla., ready to begin the next stage of his comeback.
Lester, who was 7-2 with a 4.76 ERA in his rookie season of 2006, said he is aware that the club may choose to be cautious as he builds up his strength, not just in his left arm but the rest of his body after an offseason of chemotherapy treatments.
"The club always has the best interest of the player, so I'm going to do what they tell me to do," Lester told WBZ radio reporter Jonny Miller. "If they want me to take it slow, I'll take it slow. If they want me to be normal, I'll be normal."
Lester, who finished his chemotherapy treatment in mid-December, said he is up to 208 pounds, seven pounds shy of his goal heading into Spring Training. Also, according to Miller, Lester was joined by fellow southpaw Kason Gabbard, righty Chris Smith, first baseman Ian Bladergroen, second baseman Jeff Natalie and shortstop Jed Lowrie.
Elsewhere, Red Sox assistant general manager Jed Hoyer said the team isn't close to reaching an agreement with arbitration-eligible outfielder Wily Mo Pena, according to the Boston Herald. There has not been an arbitration case in the Theo Epstein era as general manager, which began in 2003.

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