By Bruce Levine--
CHICAGO (CBS) -- The jury is still out on the impact that left-handed Jon Lester will have on the Cubs this season. After three 2015 starts, the sample size of his contributions has been minimal at best, but he hasn't found success yet.
"As I always say, I am accountable for my actions," Lester said after he took the loss in a 5-2 setback against the Padres on Sunday at Wrigley Field." My actions are not where they need to be. That will change. I have done this a pretty long time. This is now about making those in-game adjustments when I need to."
Lester is now 0-2 with a 6.89 ERA and 1.79 WHIP in 15 2/3 innings this season. Taking into consideration a disjointed spring training with a 10-day rest period because of arm fatigue, at this point in time Lester should be at maximum function on the hill. The fact that his pitch-efficient ways of the past is lacking may cause some to be concerned.
Lester himself seems to feel he's about to turn the corner on a slow start.
"There is always frustration," Lester said. "You still must go out and do your job. I am kind of the lose end of the chain (rotation) right now. That will change. It will be better. It will tighten up. I will be more like myself and go deeper into ballgames."
The 31-year-old Lester has averaged 93 pitches per outing. Of more concern is his 5 1/3 innings average over his first three starts. The good news is that although Lester has been out of sync, he hasn't been hit hard so far. The assumption that better days are ahead for Lester seems not to be far-fetched, noting his prior track record.
Lester won't accept a slow start in spring training as an excuse for his sub-par efforts so far in the first two weeks of the season.
"The most frustrating part for me is going 5 1/3 (innings), a lot of pitches," Lester said. "It will be better, but the end result is not there yet."
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.
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