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Red Sox skipping struggling John Lackey’s turn in the rotation

Apr 14, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

John Lackey, Theo Epstein, Terry Francona

Yesterday’s rainout forced the Red Sox to juggle their rotation and they’ve decided to skip John Lackey‘s turn altogether rather than push everyone else back.

So now Lackey, who was the scheduled starter for the rained out game, will make his next start Tuesday against the A’s in Oakland.

Lackey has a 15.58 ERA through two starts, allowing 15 runs on 17 hits in 8.2 innings, and the Red Sox opted to skip him rather than the similarly struggling Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Lackey is making $15.25 million this season and is owed another $15.25 million in 2012, 2013, and 2014, so the Red Sox have little choice but to be patient with the 31-year-old right-hander. He has a 4.83 ERA through 35 starts with the Red Sox, allowing opponents to bat .283 with a .795 OPS after limiting opponents to a .263 batting average and .720 OPS in eight years with the Angels.

  1. bobwsc - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    I just puked in my mouth a little looking at those dollars and remaining years for Chewbackey. Nice work Theo – add him to the list of other fine signings: Drew, Renteria, Lugo, Dice-K. Your free pass for falling into gems like Bill Mueller and David Ortiz should be just about up.

    • wurst2first - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:09 AM

      Is JD Drew really worthy of being in that conversation? He’s hit .271/.377/.474 for the Red Sox and has consistently rated pretty favorably as a defensive outfielder based on UZR. He’s also been worth about $57 Million fair-market dollars according to Fangraphs and has helped Boston win a WS, so I think you lumping him in with those other names is pretty misguided.

      • bobwsc - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:39 AM

        Drew had a way-below average in 2007 – something like 8 homers. they could’ve gotten that production and similar outfield play from Gabe Kapler had he not opted to manage in the minors that year (or they could’ve given Nixon a one year extension)). granted Drew hit a bomb in the 2007 world series so that did help, but in terms of getting there, his offensive contribution was minimal. he did carry the team in June of one year when Ortiz was hurt (maybe 2008 or 2009), but you have to grasp for big moments from him that justify a contract like that.

      • Ace - Apr 14, 2011 at 12:18 PM

        BTBS recently ranked all MLB right fielders over the last 5 years by RAR, and Drew came in at a very respectable 5th place:

        http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2011/4/7/2097274/the-best-right-fielders-of-the-past-5-years-suzuki-dominates-rios

    • wurst2first - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:11 AM

      Also, Theo’s won two World Series in the last 7 years. Cool it with the torch and pitchfork routine.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 14, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      Love it! Drew has played about 140 games in all but one season with Boston, OPSed above 900 twice, 50-60 extra-base hits, and played good defense in a tricky park, and Boston fans want to hate him. Who would Boston fans rather have out there? Do they think that production grows on trees?

      I’ll add that his production in Boston is basically the same as his production in his previous stops, so it is not like he has fallen off a cliff. He is what he always has been, a very solid ball player.

      • bigharold - Apr 14, 2011 at 5:22 PM

        “..a very solid ball player.”

        Yeah but he’s getting paid like a star, .. which he isnt nor was he ever. The RS got him thinking that he was entering his prime and that they could expect 20-25 HRs and 100+ rbiis every year and he’s never come close to that kind of production.

        Frankly I don’t think that what you pay a player goes in lock step to what to expect in terms of production but it is a guide. He’s never lived up to expectation or even his contract. As you said he’s a solid player but not an all star. The issue really is he’s paid like one therefore the expectation are higher.

  2. proudlycanadian - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Money can’t always buy a good rotation. I am glad that I am not a Red Sox fan.

    • bobwsc - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:47 AM

      true. what are the Mets getting out of Santana, or the Yanks out of Burnett, or the Sox out of Lackey and Dice-K? some guys pan out (CC, Cliff Lee), but it seems like a 50% bust rate, and it isn’t cheap. as a Sox fan, I’m ready to take a swan dive out the office window (good thing these things don’t open)

      • itsacurse - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:08 AM

        I’d say the Red Sox would be thrilled with 2011 Burnett production out of Lackey so far.

      • bennyblanco1 - Apr 14, 2011 at 12:44 PM

        Does Santana really fit in the same category? He has been great when healthy (even with a lack of run support).

        The other guys you mentioned just havnt pitched well. Injuries happen.

      • bloodysock - Apr 14, 2011 at 1:15 PM

        Starter mistakes happen to all teams: Zito, Hampton, Driefort, Zambrano, Igawa, Pavano, Meche, Ponson, Loaiza, etc.

  3. pisano - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Lacking (Lackey) best years are behind him. The Angels used his best and I think they weren’t all that sad to lose him. As bobwsc points out Theo has surely had his share of blunder signings, but that being said which GM hasn’t.

  4. phukyouk - Apr 14, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    i stand by my statement that the Muts and the Sox should swap Lackey and Bay..

    • bennyblanco1 - Apr 14, 2011 at 1:06 PM

      The Sox dont have enough outfielders as it is?

      • phukyouk - Apr 14, 2011 at 1:25 PM

        identical contracts and the Sox would have benefited off of Bay more than the Muts and the Muts would have benefited off of Lackey more than the Sox.

  5. cur68 - Apr 14, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    May the opposition way in for a mo? As I root for the Jays, may I say I’m real sorry Lackeys not going up agin the Beaver Men this Friday? That ERA of his would be welcome. As it stands, Clay Buchholz and his 7.2 ERA 0-2 W-L record are all I have to look forward to. I like our chances against the Sox but I admit after losing 2 of 3 to the Mariners that the Sox also must like their chances against the Jays. Plenty of cause for optimism this next four games, boys, for both sets of fans. Who knows, if the Sox shee-lack the Jays (and given what happened v the Mariners, this is not unlikely) this could be where their season turns around. Hang in there.

  6. ricofoy - Apr 14, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Theo didn’t win squat. His roided up team did. Now we all know instead of taking a shot of Jack Daniels before game 4, they took a shot of testosterone instead.

  7. henryd3rd - Apr 14, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    Come folks take it easy on Theo and think back at how you all felt you had a gem in Mr. Lackey when he first signed on. There must be something physically wrong with him? Maybe that’s why the Angels let him go? Let see pitch in Southern California or Boston. Live in Anaheim or Cambridge. Hmmm. Its mental! Lackey should have stayed in California where baseball is not a religion

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