Blog Entry

John Lackey to miss 2012 season with Tommy John

Posted on: October 25, 2011 4:06 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 4:28 pm
 
Lackey

By Evan Brunell

In Ben Cherington's introductory news conference, the new Red Sox GM said that John Lackey will need Tommy John surgery, which knocks him out for the entire 2012 season.

“He had some intermittent elbow soreness throughout the season,” Cherington said. “After more consultation with Dr. Yocum, John has decided to go ahead with Tommy John surgery. We’re waiting on a surgery date, but I talked to him the other day, and he’s really excited about the future, certainly anxious about the surgery and getting that done and the rehab, but knows that he’s a much better pitcher than what he showed in 2011. I believe he’s going to be a much better pitcher than what he showed in 2011, and we look forward to having him as part of the staff, likely in 2013."

This move comes as a major surprise, but Peter Gammons was on the ball back in late June when he said on WEEI that there was significant concern about Lackey's health and how it's translating to on-field performance. Lackey recently finished a brutal 2011 with a 6.41 ERA in 28 starts, leading baseball by giving up 114 earned runs.

"I’ve had indications that there are some questions about just how healthy [Lackey is]," Gammons said back in June. "We know he was disabled with the elbow problem." Gammons said Lackey may need Tommy John by August, despite his elbow not being significantly different in MRIs compared to when he signed with the Red Sox prior to the 2010 season. (Lackey, when asked about Gammons' quotes, told ESPN Boston that "He straight made that up." Apparently not.)

Lackey will miss the entire season with Tommy John surgery, joining Daisuke Matsuzaka on the shelf. Dice-K also underwent Tommy John surgery early in the season and is not expected to return until at least the midway point of 2012, if not later. With both Matsuzaka and Lackey on the shelf, Boston will have work on its hands to round out a rotation that so far, will include Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. It appears likely that Alfredo Aceves will become a starter after a successful year out of the bullpen as a long reliever.

As for additional pitching depth, Cherington didn't sound as if he was terribly interested in going out and paying for a big starter. "Most likely we’ll do that through some good, creative buy-low acquisitions," he said.

However, if Cherington changes his mind and goes after free-agent starter C.J. Wilson or possible Japanese import Yu Darvish, he'll have more money to work with. Lackey's surgery means his sixth-year option for the league minimum salary will kick in, which lowers his average annual value by $2.7 million. Lackey's original contract was for five years and $82.5 million, which works out to $16.5 million a year. That number will now be reduced about $2.7 million per year on the conditional option Lackey agreed to upon signing, in which he agreed to play in 2015 for the league minimum should he miss time at any point from 2010-14 for a pre-existing elbow injury. That's a significant amount which could mean the difference between sitting at home in October and the ability to acquire a quality player that can put Boston in October.

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Comments
SOX=KEG KILLERS
Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: October 29, 2011 1:58 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: October 27, 2011 12:36 pm
 

John Lackey to miss 2012 season with Tommy John

The new clubhouse bartender.  Sounds like the Red Sox are going the "genie" in a bottle method of putting a roster together. (like the Indians have been doing) Welcome to middle of the road.



Since: Aug 13, 2006
Posted on: October 27, 2011 6:33 am
 

John Lackey to miss 2012 season with Tommy John

I say take 5 years off and then decide to sell Fenway franks at the park.... great news just like the Dice-K news this season


SOX=KEG KILLERS
Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: October 26, 2011 7:46 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: October 26, 2011 5:59 pm
 

John Lackey to miss 2012 season with Tommy John

Lackey was never even close to a beast, unless we are talking about his eating habits and beer drinking. Thing I am going to miss the Red Sox fans complaning about this POS all season long. Good to know that Theo Epstein left your team in such good shape. 2 1/2 starting pitchers, probably no Big Papi (J.D. Drew can be your D.H. right?), a 3rd baseman that may play 90 games if you are lucky, another year of Marco at SS oh and CARL CRAWFORD! Orioles may beat them out next year.



Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: October 26, 2011 4:02 pm
 

John Lackey to miss 2012 season with Tommy John

is tommy john the new term for stop eating like a pig and lose 75 pounds before the season starts?



Since: Dec 14, 2007
Posted on: October 26, 2011 12:44 pm
 

John Lackey to miss 2012 season with Tommy John

Lackey never produced from the moment he stepped into Boston. Since there had to be a Medical exam - either the doctors were smokin wacky tobacco, or there was nothing "Majorly" wrong with his arm. So that means the guy stunk, and then the arm came to be injured - and he stunk worse. Yes, for the Sox I think it IS best he is not there next year. Now if we can trade Dice-K to the cubs!



Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: October 26, 2011 12:15 pm
 

John Lackey to miss 2012 season with Tommy John

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!



Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: October 26, 2011 11:38 am
 

John Lackey to miss 2012 season with Tommy John

A beast??? He had one very good season and a couple of decent years for the Angles. Don't over-hype Lackey. He is a # 5 starter
at best. It's a break for the Red Sox. I am hoping for the same news for AJ Burnett.



Since: Sep 15, 2008
Posted on: October 26, 2011 9:55 am
 

John Lackey to miss 2012 season with Tommy John

Too many 12oz. curls in the clubhouse.


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