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#pounditWednesday, February 1, 2023

Joe Maddon expresses support for Jon Lester’s bounce throw strategy

Joe Maddon

Jon Lester’s bold new strategy officially has the blessing of the man in charge.

The Chicago Cubs left-hander revealed over the weekend that he will be turning to bounce throws in an attempt to remedy his notorious career-long troubles with throwing to first base. Lester experimented with the gambit in a Cactus League game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday but surprised first baseman Efren Navarro with the throw, resulting in an error. Cubs manager Joe Maddon was still vocal in his support however.

“I thought that was perfect,” Maddon said on Monday, per Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. “Efren’s not used to working with him, and he kind of stretched a little early. I honestly believe if Efren had played with him more, he would’ve been in position to catch that ball.

“It’s going to work,” continued Maddon about the greater strategy. “They’re working on it, and working on different methods to get it done.”

Unconventional? Yes. But even Lester knows the running joke that his ersatz pickoff tosses and other various bumbling throws to first have become around the league, so the one-hopper approach is probably well worth a try for him.

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