The Boston Red Sox did not go out and spend a fortune on veteran righty John Lackey this winter. No, they made that commitment prior to the 2010
season. The Sox are still on the hook for $15 million (and some) for both
2013 and 2014 to the ex-Angel. This spring they are hoping for something like manna
to fall from heaven. After two of the statistically worst seasons of
Lackey's career ( he somehow led the American League by allowing 114 earned
runs in only 160 innings in 2011), followed by a 2012 summer lost to
injury, Boston is hopeful that a healthy Lackey can finally deliver the quality
pitching they signed on for long ago.
ESPNBoston.coms’ Joe McDonald reported last night that Lackey looked good throwing his first live batting practice session of the spring. With Lackey now completely recovered from Tommy John elbow surgery, Red Sox Manager John Farrell (a rare pitcher turned big-league manager) was pleased with what he saw.
“He threw the ball today consistent with his bullpens. There’s no change in the time needed to warm up. He’s throwing his fastball to both sides of the plate, so in the early going he’s doing everything we had hoped to see coming off the surgery,” said Farrell.The Sox official website has Lackey penciled into the number four slot in the rotation. Though his salary may be a bit high for that assignment, with 128 career wins behind him, a healthy Lackey and the newly acquired Ryan Dempster could make for an unusually strong back end of the rotation, just the thing that could put this team right back into contention in 2013.