Terry Francona announced after the Red Sox' 8-7 win over the Orioles that Tim Wakefield will start in the place of John Lackey, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with strained right elbow prior to Monday night's game.
Francona noted the Lackey has been battling through some discomfort in his right elbow, and the move to put the stater on the DL was precautionary. Peter Gammons reported after the game that it was his understanding that the pitcher had gotten a shot in his elbow to decrease the inflammation, which the team hopes will allow Lackey to better sustain velocity.
"There has been some tugging on that elbow, and Lack is more than willing to pitch through anything," Francona said. "We already know that. He's done it before, he'll do it again. the more we talked to the medical people, the more we talked to Lack, we took it out of his hands. … We all believe in his will to fight through stuff. It just didn't seem fair to us and we told him that, so we took it out of this hands. A little bit of a shutdown here and maybe he can come back. … I don't think he was very happy about it because he's such a competitor. I think it's the right thing to do. I think we all do."
The Red Sox manager also noted that the move wasn't made because of any of the issues Lackey made a vague reference to following his last start.
"It's really not," Francona said. "We certainly respect what he's going through. This is just about trying to protect him and allow him to go out and pitch like he can."
For more Red Sox coverage, see the team page at weei.com/redsox.
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