Last Tuesday John Lackey pitched two simulated innings at Tropicana Field while the Sox were in town playing the Rays. The Globe’s Peter Abraham reported, “Based on watching from the press box, Lackey looked pretty good. He retired six of the eight hitters he faced and seemed to have pretty good hop on his fastball. Lackey didn’t throw any cutters.”
After the sim game, Lackey left the big club for Fort Myers where he will pitch in an intra-squad game on Sunday and in doing so will close out his 2012 pitching rehabilitation while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Based on his progress to date, it’s expected that he will come to Fort Myers next spring with no restrictions. For Red Sox fans this also means high expectations.
Heading into the 2013 season, Lackey will be in the third year of a five-year $82 million contract that to date has been a painful reminder of Boston’s drunken sailor spending spree period. After mammoth 2012 team disappointment and hand-wringing in The Nation, there will be little tolerance for a less than stalwart staffer role as Lackey attempts to prove his worth and make good on his contract.
In his debut year as a Sox starter Lackey was a respectable 14-11 with a 4.40 ERA. In 2011 he was 12-12 with a chubby 6.41 ERA, gaining a reputation as a sour and petulant performer. He he been on the DL the entire 2012 season. The inside scoop is that his teammates love him. He’s got a lot to prove to the people that sit in the seats and pay his salary.
Details of John Lackey’s contract with the Red Sox:
Is it me,
Who never compromise,
I only see things through my eyes,
Which means is my way?
Or is it you
Who’s always shutting down,
Never wanting to talk about the problems we got?
- Why Can’t We Get Along, 112