Red Sox manager John Farrell has been made numerous trips across the country in recent weeks to visit with players as he prepares to head to Fort Myers, Fla., for the start of spring training. Of the visits he’s made, one stood out.
Farrell was with the Red Sox when they signed John Lackey to a five-year, $82.5 million deal after the 2009 season. In 2010, when Farrell was the Sox pitching coach, he got a close view into the fact that the pitcher who was making his transition to Boston was unable to perform at the same consistently excellent level he’d achieved with the Angels to that point in his career. Then, from the perspective of the Blue Jays dugout in 2011, he again saw a pitcher unlike the one that the team thought it was acquiring via free agency.
Ultimately, it turned out that Lackey required Tommy John surgery shortly after the end of a 2011 season that proved a year-long physical struggle for the pitcher. Lackey went 12-12 with a 6.41 ERA in 28 starts and 160 painful innings that season. Now, after missing all of 2012, Lackey is poised to return to the rotation starting in spring training. And based upon his visit with the pitcher in Dallas last week, Farrell expects that the veteran is ready to make an impact that exceeds what he’s done to date in Boston.
“I think he has a chance to have as big an impact on our club as anyone on our roster,” Farrell said on WEEI’s Red Sox Hot Stove Show on Thursday night. (To listen to the complete interview, click here.) “He looks great. I think when people see him for the first time, they’ll probably be surprised about how he reshaped his body. He probably dropped about 12 to 15 pounds. I had a chance to watch him throw. His arm was loose. He was upbeat, looking forward to putting Tommy John and some of those recent experiences behind him.”
In his two years with the Sox, Lackey went 26-23 with a 5.26 ERA, striking out 6.3 per nine innings and walking 3.1 per nine. By contrast, he struck out 7.2 and walked 2.6 per nine innings with the Angels, going 102-71 with a 3.81 ERA. Farrell is hopeful that the pitcher’s long rehab process will now yield a performer who more closely represents his Angels performance than what he did in his first two years in Boston.
“I think we have yet to see the John Lackey we signed here,” said Farrell. “To see what he’s done reshaping his body, the way he’s talked with eagerness to get back on the mound … I really think that, there’s a different side of John Lackey than what has been seen. I’m not making any excuses for anything that’s happened in the past, but the best thing John can do is go out and pitch as he’s capable. Now that he’s healthy, he’s had his arm repaired and the elbow fixed, he has a chance to do just that.”
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FOXBORO — The Patriots will have their biggest challenge to date to remain perfect as they travel to Denver to take on the NFL’s top-ranked defense in the 8-2 Broncos Sunday night at Sports Authority Field.
We check in with head coach Bill Belichick on Patriots Monday for a look at all aspects of the win over the Bills, and a look ahead to the Broncos.
Dale, Michael and Jerry check in with Chandler Jones after the Pats moved to 10-0. Plus a special brief appearance by Damion Easley.
A quick game recap of Celtics 121-97 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
A 5-minute game recap of the Celtics 111-101 loss to the Nets
Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston joins the show to discuss the Celtics rotation, the possibility of Marcus Smart or Jae Crowder making an All-Defense team, as well as suggestions for improving Gino Time.
Red Sox Manager John Farrell joined the Hot Stove Show where he talked about how David Ortiz retirement is bittersweet, the outfield alignment for 2016, the Red Sox bullpen as it looks right now, and Hanley Ramirez off season training.
The Hot Stove Show this week discusses Red Sox possible pitching acquisitions and they talk with the clubs manager, John Farrell.
The stove is hot. Mut, Bradford and Tomase are talking about the reports of David Ortiz’ retirement announcement, as well as their thoughts on the trade the Red Sox made for closer Craig Kimbrel
DJ Bean and Ken Laird discuss the Bruins 3-2 OT win on Wednesday night in Detroit. Despite being outplayed for most of the game, Boston scored with less than two minutes left in regulation to tie the game 2-2 and went on for the OT victory.
DJ Bean and Ken Laird discuss the Bruins 4-3 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night at Air Canada Center.
DJ Bean and Ken Laird are live at TD Garden after the Bruins 2-0 win over Toronto on Saturday night. The guys discuss the first two-game home winning streak of the season and what it means.
Kirk needs his some baked ziti.
The top stories of the day.
We remember Tiger's Thanksgiving many years ago.
LB came in the studio in between segments, and got Christian in a funny mood. His abilities to pronounced foreign names was put to the test. For the most part, he failed.
Before Monday night's game against the Patriots, Rex Ryan invited Ray Lewis to give the Bills a pregame "pump-up" speech.
Glenn and Christian kick off the show playing some of the audio of Christian's call to a Vegan hotline last year around this time, and then the conversation turned to the importance of a 16-0 season now that big injuries have decimated the skill positions.
We close out the day with the best in sound
Today's 4@4 segment consisted of who we believe will be the next Patriot Inducted into Hall of Fame. We talk Rodney Harrison, Ty Law, Richard Seymour, and Randy Moss.
Dale, Michael and Jerry speak to Peter King of MMQB/SI.
Mikey, Mut and Villani are talking about the NFL's version of a run-on sentence, Ray Lewis. More specifically his comments regarding Bill Belichick, Rex Ryan, Tom Brady, and Cam Newton.
Buck and Soog talk about Ronda Rousey's loss, the state of the UFC and favorite things about Thanksgiving.
Mikey, Mut and Villani are talking about the NFL's version of a run-on sentence, Ray Lewis. More specifically his comments regarding Bill Belichick, Rex Ryan, Tom Brady, and Cam Newton.More from this show
Glenn and Christian kick off the show playing some of the audio of Christian's call to a Vegan hotline last year around this time, and then the conversation turned to the importance of a 16-0 season now that big injuries have decimated the skill positions.More from this show