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.”
For complete Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.
The guys react to what Don Banks had to say and get into some more thoughts on Deflategate. Are McNally and Jastremski ever going to break their silence and give their side of the story? Price says yes ... eventually.
Don Banks talks with the NFL Sunday boys about his reaction to Brady's appeal, where we go from here and the NFL's motives and decisions throughout the process. He also gets into the Pats offseason so far and their weakness at CB. Don gives his take on the AFC East this year and how some of the Pats' rivals have improved.
Greg and Price discuss their thoughts on some of the reports that have leaked after Tuesday from Brady's appeal hearing. The boys talk about what the reaction will be if Brady decides to accept a 1-game suspension. Fans want a complete exoneration, but there's a good chance that they won't get that - how will they react? They also talk with Mike Petraglia and get his thought on the appeal and more.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
Sam is joined by Jared Weiss from The Garden Report and CLNS Radio to breakdown game 4 of Cavs-Warriors, preview game 5 on Sunday, and analyze the Celtics needs this off-season.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox starter, who threw a much-needed complete game win against the Astros at Fenway Park.
Joe and Rob Bradford talk with Red Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza about the Red Sox solid road trip and offensive outpouring in a win against Toronto.
We discuss the state of the Sox, specifically Rick Porcello, with Red Sox Manager John Farrell.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
Gary and Ben on the Pats.
The guys discussed the latest Red Sox news with Larry.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Gary Tanguay.
Conor McGregor has harsh words for Floyd Mayweather on Conan, Colbert hosts public access TV & will Joey Chestnut defend his title in Hot Dog Eating Contest?
Discussing Greg Monroe signing with Milwaukee and debating if that gives hope to a cold weather city in Boston
Kicking around the dream of acquiring a pitcher like Sonny Gray and how much you would have to give up in order to acquire that caliber talent
In honor of the 4th of July holiday, guest hosts Rob Bradford and Andy Hart examine the four worst renditions of the Star Spangled Banner at sporting events.
WEEI.com's Rob Bradford and Andy Hart of Patriots.com are in for Dale, Holley, and Thornton. Bradfo and Hart take some time to discuss the upcoming issues for Pats training camp, including what QB reps will be like between Brady and the backups.
Rob Bradford and Andy Hart are in for Dale, Holley, and Thornton and are joined by Houston Astros writer Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle to preview the weekend's Red Sox - Astros series as well as to get the inside word on the St. Louis Cardinals hacking scandal.
WEEI Bruins Reporter D.J. Bean joins Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola to talk about the signing of winger Matt Beleskey on the opening day of NHL free agency.
With 80 games played for the Red Sox, Mikey Adams wants midterm grades for several players. Also, after another Rick Porcello clunker in Toronto, callers and texters give unflattering Porcello Limericks. Lenny Megliola and Textress Lucy are along.
Danny's early thoughts on Celtics drafting Terry Rozier at the 16th pick
Ben, Russ & Alex discuss the Revs continued downfall & argue over The Mighty Ducks movie franchise
Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable are joined by special guests Mike Mutnansky of the Red Sox Radio Network and Red Sox minor league hitting coordinator Tim Hyers to talk Sox prospects. What do the struggles of Rusney Castillo and Rick Porcello in the majors mean? Also, the international signing period begins July 2, looking back at past Latin American signings. And June selections for affiliate players of the month
Gary and Ben on the Pats.More from this show