ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jon Lester's next start is scheduled for Saturday at Yankee Stadium and Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine suggested that Lester would make that start.
Unless, of course, he doesn't.
The Sox have an off-day Thursday and could conceivably skip Lester to give him time to work through his troubles on the side. Lester was blasted for 11 runs in four-plus innings of work Sunday.
In his last three starts, Lester has pitched just 12 13 innings and allowed 21 runs.
When a reporter started to ask whether the Sox might think about skipping Lester, Valentine cut the reporter off and responded: "I don't think so. Maybe. I don't think so."
But later, when another reporter rephrased the question about skipping Lester, Valentine seemed to leave open the possibility of doing so.
"Maybe," said Valentine. "If that's something that we deem that he needs."
Lester plans to throw a side session Wednesday here at The Ballpark at Arlington.
"(We'll have) a conversation," said Valentine. "It's not anything that has to get deep. We have to talk, figure it out. We're not solving the world corn crisis."
When it was pointed out that Lester has sounded downcast in recent comments, Valentine said he had a remedy for that.
"We'll just let him know that if you're that far down, there's only one way to go and that's up," Valentine said. "I believe in him. No one else in this room (full of reporters) does, but I do. So, that's a good start. Maybe if he's sitting in here, there will be two (people who believe in him) before he leaves."
Valentine added of Lester: "He's not hurt, that's for sure. He said he feels fine. The plan is to talk with him after batting practice. I had a little piece of pizza with him. We'll see if can make a plan, straighten him out and get him going on the right track."