Lester gives the Red Sox a scare

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Jon Lester gave Red Sox fans quite a
scare on Friday night when he took a Melky Cabrera line drive off the
inside of his right knee. He looked to be in considerable pain,
crumpling to the ground before limping back to the dugout. Similar
comebackers have knocked Roy Halladay (leg) and Brad Bergesen (shin)
out for the year in recent seasons.




However, X-rays on the knee came
back negative and Lester was diagnosed with a contusion on his right
quadriceps. In fact, things were looking so good on Saturday morning
that
the Red Sox are now optimistic that he can make his next scheduled start against the Indians on Thursday:



“We’ll monitor him the next couple days,” Francona said. “This time
of year, they don’t always throw a side, anyway. So that doesn’t
necessarily get in the way. And we’re certainly not going to let him
pitch if he’s hobbling around out there. But he doesn’t necessarily
have to do a side day tomorrow, either. He looked pretty good. He’s
doing alright.”

The Red Sox would like to keep Lester on his regular schedule, but
they will make an adjustment to his preparation for the postseason if
the contusion on his right quadriceps demands it.

If he makes his Thursday start, as
scheduled, he would line up perfectly to start Game One of the ALDS,
most likely against the Angels, on Wednesday, Oct. 7 or Thursday, Oct.
8.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.