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John Lackey had elbow examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum

Oct 25, 2011, 10:51 AM EDT

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Boston Red Sox Getty Images

No details of the visit have been revealed by the Red Sox, but Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that John Lackey recently met with Dr. Lewis Yocum in California to have his right elbow examined.

According to Bradford’s sources the Red Sox expect to have a “final resolution” by the end of this week, which suggests surgery is an option for Lackey.

Lackey is owed $15.25 million in each of the next three seasons and there’s an option for 2015 that triggers at the MLB minimum salary if he needs elbow surgery.

Having him around for another season, even at the league minimum, may not sound like a positive thing for the Red Sox, but as Bradford notes the extra year being tacked onto the current contract would change the annual value of the deal and allow the team to spread out his luxury tax figure.

In other words, Lackey having elbow surgery would knock him out for 2012 and put his career in flux, but it would also save the Red Sox some money. And obviously finding out that he has significant elbow damage would help explain Lackey’s decline. His average fastball velocity this season matched a career-high at 91.6 miles per hour, but Lackey’s strikeout and walk rates were both far worse than his career norms.

  1. frankvzappa - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Please need Tommy John, please need Tommy John, please need Tommy John…

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:19 AM

      Not nice….it’s pretty bad karma to root for someone to need TJS.

      • phukyouk - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:29 AM

        He didn’t say anything about Surgery. I happen to know for a fact that Tommy John is the name of Lackey’s shrink.

      • frankvzappa - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:50 AM

        Surgery isn’t that bad. You get to relax for a couple months afterward high on painkillers while people feel sorry for you and wait on your every need. Take some time to read some books you’ve been meaning to read and watch movies you’ve been meaning to watch. Kind of like jail, except without the movies and the food sucks. Hell, anything is better than work. Although I guess that’s probably not true if you play baseball for a living. Anyway I was mostly joking, but a wiser man than myself once said that there is a little truth in every joke.

      • proudlycanadian - Oct 25, 2011 at 2:28 PM

        I did not know that Lackey had a shrink, but I do think that he needs his head examined as well as the elbow.

  2. nolanwiffle - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    So you’re telling us the beer and chicken were purely for medicinal purposes?

  3. shaggylocks - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    [insert obligatory, increasingly unfunny beer and chicken comment here]

    • shaggylocks - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:04 AM

      Dang, the previous commenter beat me to it…

    • nolanwiffle - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:07 AM

      As you wish.

  4. pisano - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Lackey’s Theo’s going away gift to the Sox.

  5. uyf1950 - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    As a Yankees fan I can only hope Lackey stays around an additional year on the Red Sox roster.

    If they lose Lackey for the entire 2012 season that leaves them with just 2 reliable starters for that season (Lester and Beckett). I would normally include Buchholz but 3 out of the last 4 seasons Buchholz hasn’t even come close to pitching a full season.

    That along with all their “other” issues like Youkilis health, what to do with RF and straightening out Crawford not to mention the Papelbon and Ortiz free agencies and their bullpen worries (Wheeler, Jenks). I would say the the list of things to do on the “NEW” Red Sox GM’s plate is pretty extensive.

    • Joe - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:16 PM

      I would normally include Buchholz but 3 out of the last 4 seasons Buchholz hasn’t even come close to pitching a full season.
      That’s true, unless you believe that pitching in the minor leagues counts when assessing somebody’s injury risk. Buchholz has made 26, 32, 29 and 14 starts the last four seasons, and the 26 starts in 2008 includs some thumb-twiddling due to his ineffectiveness at the major league level.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:02 PM

        IP by year (majors and minors)

        ’08 – 144.2
        ’09 – 190.0
        ’10 – 177.1
        ’11 – 82.2

        [please double check my math]

        Best year was ’09, but counting on him to be a 200IP starter is still up in the air.

      • uyf1950 - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:19 PM

        Joe, Thanks for the reply. But try not to read more into my comments then I write. I made no reference to “injury risk” in talking about Buchholz. I said reliable starter. And no I do NOT consider starts in the minors when counting a players “big league” ML team starts and more specifically counting that pitcher as a “reliable” starter for the big league team.
        For the Boston Red Sox only:
        2008 – 16 games – 76 innings
        2009 – 16 games – 92 innings
        2010 – 28 games – 173+ innings
        2011 – 14 games – 82+ innings

        For whatever reason that is hardly the model that someone would use to say Buchholz is a “reliable” starter for the Boston Red Sox. That was my only point.

      • Joe - Oct 25, 2011 at 3:18 PM

        OK, but what you are really saying then is that you don’t think Clay Buchholz can be counted on to be a reliabel major league starter in 2012 largely because he was did poorly in the majors as a 23-year-old rookie in 2008.

        You may recall that Buchholz was in the rotation at the beginning of 2008 and pitched poorly, leading Theo to try out Penny and Smoltz in 2009. Since Clay came back in ’09, he’s been pretty good. To my eyes, there’s no reason outside of injuries to question whether Buchholz will be a reliable starter in 2012.

      • Joe - Oct 25, 2011 at 3:20 PM

        *EDIT FUNCTION*
        what you are really saying then is that you don’t think Clay Buchholz can be counted on to be a *reliable major league starter in 2012 largely because he *did poorly in the majors

      • uyf1950 - Oct 25, 2011 at 4:20 PM

        Joe, what I’m saying is that based on his history (4 years) in only 1 of those years 2010 did he pitch anything near what you would expect from a “starting pitcher. The other 3 years he pitched between 76 and 92 innings. Hardly what a team should reasonably expect from a “starting” pitcher. They need to have a “Plan B” for when and if Buchholz misses a prolonged part of the season. I should add that “Plan B” shouldn’t be Bedard, Weiland, Miller or Wakefield. That’s just my opinion.

  6. haroldb1234 - Oct 25, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    lackey will not be a sox in 2012, period.

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