NESN and MLB Network analyst Peter Gammons, in his weekly interview on the Mut & Merloni Show, suggested that the health of starter John Lackey's elbow remains a significant concern.
Lackey has a 5-6 record and a 7.36 ERA that is the worst in the majors. The right-hander spent time on the disabled list earlier this year with a right elbow strain that required a cortisone shot, but Lackey told WEEI.com earlier this month that, while the issue is one that he needs to manage, MRIs suggested that his elbow isn't significantly different now than it was when he signed with the Sox.
Even so, Gammons suggested that there are open questions about the kind of contribution that Lackey will be able to make going forward.
"With all the problems with Lackey’s elbow, is this guy going to end up needing Tommy John surgery before August? That’s something they have to decide," said Gammons. "They’ve already lost Matsuzaka, and Lackey’s been a physical issue all year. ...
"I’ve had indications that there are some questions about just how healthy [Lackey is]. We know he was disabled with the elbow problem. We know he had the shot," Gammons added. "I thought his last start, the rain day, he seemed really distracted. ... That was a lost day entirely. How much of it is health? How much of it is personal? We don’t know. I think this is something that will need to play out over the next two or three weeks or so. If the elbow is barking, that creates a pretty serious problem for them. That's where [Andrew] Miller and [Felix] Doubront and people like that become very important for them."
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