Jon Lester hopes to begin throwing Thursday

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During a media session today for the American League All-Stars, Jon Lester told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he hopes to begin throwing when he rejoins the Red Sox on Thursday in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Lester was placed on the disabled list after leaving a start last Tuesday with a strained left lat muscle, but the southpaw said today that he hasn’t felt the injury over the past two days.

“It went from the day where I did anything it hurt, to where things got better, to the past two days I haven’t felt it. Now we have to make sure when I throw it doesn’t hurt. If it hurts when I throw we”re not getting anywhere. As long as it doesn’t hurt when I start throwing it should progress pretty quickly.”

As of now, Lester doesn’t think he will need a minor league rehab assignment, but it appears unlikely that he’ll be ready to return when he’s eligible next Friday.

Lester is 10-4 with a 3.31 ERA across 18 starts this season. He has a 110/40 K/BB ratio over 114 1/3 innings.

Who is the fastest sprinter in baseball?

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We’re not talking the 100 meters here. We’re talking practical baseball sprinting. That’s defined by the StatCast folks at MLB as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window,” while sprinting for the purposes of, you know, winning a baseball game.

StatCast ranked all players who have at least 10 “max effort” runs this year. I won’t give away who is at the top of this list, but given that baseball’s speedsters tend to get a lot of press you will not be at all surprised. As for the bottom of the list, well, the Angels don’t pay Albert Pujols to run even when he’s not suffering from late career chronic foot problems, so they’ll probably let that one go. I will say, however, that I am amused that the third slowest dude in baseball is named “Jett,” however.

Lately people have noticed some odd things about home run distances on StatCast, suggesting that maybe their metrics are wacko. And, of course, their means of gauging this stuff is proprietary and opaque, so we have no way of knowing if their numbers are off the reservation or not. As such, take all of the StatCast stuff you see with a grain of salt.

That said, even if the feet-per-second stuff is wrong here, knowing that Smith is faster than Jones by a factor of X is still interesting.

Here are the final All-Star voting results before the close of balloting

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All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.

Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

AMERICAN LEAGUE