Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/24/14
Say goodbye to the John Lackey of 2012 and hello to the new and improved Lackey of 2013. After undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing all of last season, the big right-hander has shown up to spring training confident, excited and he even shed a few pounds, too. While his time in Boston has been overshadowed by injuries and less-than-impressive numbers, Lackey is ready for a fresh start this season and looking forward to bouncing back. Lackey has the chance to change the negative perception Red Sox fans have of him and the best way to do that is by throwing some quality innings. Since joining Boston prior to the 2010 season he has struggled, posting a 4.4o ERA in 2010 and a 6.41 ERA in 2011. However, at least one of his teammates, Clay Bucholz thinks he could become the ace of the Red Sox pitching staff in the 2013 season. Lackey certainly has a lot to prove this season, but the early reports look good and he’s set to pitch an inning tomorrow against the Rays at JetBlue Park as he gets back in the swing of things. Now completely healthy and revitalized, Red Sox fans hope Lackey can get back to his dominant ways and win 19 games like he did in 2007. That number may be reaching, but how many games do you think Lackey will win this season? Take Our Poll

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