COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - On Tuesday, everyone got the word. There will be no minor league baseball season because major league teams won’t be supplying the players, players like infielder Josh Lester.
“We kind of knew it was coming,” said Lester. “You could see it in the works from the beginning and from when we got sent home the first time, but officially them saying it, it was brutal. But it’s actually kind of better now knowing something than it was the last couple of months not knowing anything.”
The former Columbus Blue Devil has been climbing steadily through the Detroit Tigers organization. Last year, he split time between Class AA Erie of the Eastern League and Class AAA, with 19 homers and 68 RBI in 124 games. This season could have been huge for Lester.
“This would have been a good year,” said Lester, “hopefully starting in Triple-A and hopefully getting off to a good start and carrying that over and maybe getting a chance with the Tigers. I mean, they weren’t going to be World Series contenders, so they were going to have a chance to trade some of those guys in the big leagues and hopefully make some spots for some of us prospects.”
So, what are you going to do? All Lester can do is shrug, 135 pounds per rep, and keep it going, because there's still a chance in this shortened season to advance his big league dreams.
“They told me just kind of stay ready in case something happens. I was in a group, I guess, right after the 60-man, that if something happens to somebody there, I’ll be one of the first guys called. That’d be nice.”
Nice, but a still long shot. So, Lester said it's just a matter of staying focused on the future.
“I’m just trying to keep going like I would if it was the offseason and prepare, maybe play winter ball this year, maybe in Puerto Rico or somewhere, if the coronavirus settles down and they let us do that. So, just kind of get back to the grind and be ready for next year.”