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Buchholz on Lester: 'He's going to make a lot of All-Star games'

7/13/2010

Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell sat in the visitor’s dugout on Sunday at Rogers Centre in Toronto and reflected on the young pitching careers of Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester.

Both are first-time All-Stars and both have meant a lot to the Red Sox organization. Buchholz, who is on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, participated in All-Star festivities in Anaheim but the right-hander did not play.

Lester pitched the top of the sixth inning and the southpaw retired the side in order for the American League All-Stars.

“If he’s not the best left-handed starter in the league, he’s one of the top two or three,” Buchholz said of Lester. “I think he’s going to make a lot of All-Star games.”

From the scouts who drafted both Lester and Buchholz, to the development staff and ultimately the big-league staff, all have watched, studied and helped the pitchers’ progressions. Having both on the AL All-Star roster is rewarding for the Red Sox organization.

“It’s clearly been rewarding for everyone involved,” Farrell said. “[Buchholz and Lester] have met the challenges at the big-league level and it hasn’t been a seamless transition, a straight incline to the pitchers they are today. For them to respond to the challenges and learn about themselves, and then to be able to carry it out there consistently speaks a lot to their commitment and conviction to their work.”

Farrell spoke at length about Buchholz’s career in a story that ran on ESPNBoston.com on Monday. Boston’s pitching coach also talked about Lester’s amazing career and this season.

“He takes a couple weeks in April to really get things going, but once he does, stay out of the way and let him go,” Farrell said.

In the middle of Farrell’s scouting report on the club’s ace, he was asked about Lester’s ability to defeat cancer and become the winning pitcher in the deciding Game 4 of the 2007 World Series for the Red Sox in a four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.

“That was like an exclamation mark of a personal journey that was, in many ways, not matched by many,” Farrell said. “There are stories that are evident of guys who have come back from dealing with that illness in this game itself, but when you see it firsthand, and you see what took place during the course of the previous 18 months, sitting here in 2010 and looking back it was the start of a run that he’s been dominating since then in every sense of the word.”