John Lackey didn’t pitch at all in 2012, and he struggled mightily throughout his two seasons in Boston before that. Yet as the Red Sox prepare to enter spring training in less than a month, Lackey is very much a wild card in the team’s rotation.
Simply put, we don’t know what to expect from Lackey, who went 26-23 with a 5.26 ERA in two seasons with the Sox before undergoing Tommy John surgery during the 2011 offseason. He could follow in the footsteps of the many hurlers who have actually pitched better after the procedure, or he could still be the pitcher who has vastly underperformed since inking a five-year deal before the 2010 season.
For many Red Sox fans, it’s hard to be optimistic. Not only are there now health concerns regarding Lackey, although all indications are that he’s ready to go, but it’s hard to get past the 6.41 ERA he posted in 28 starts in 2011.
Before writing Lackey off completely, though, let’s not forget the success he enjoyed in Los Angeles. The veteran righ...