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John Lackey faces live hitters for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery

Sep 9, 2012, 11:14 AM EDT

john lackey getty Getty Images

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told reporters late last month that he was “very impressed” after watching John Lackey throw batting practice. And now the right-hander has taken another major stride.

According to Danny Picard of CSN New England, Lackey tossed 15 pitches to live hitters Saturday at Fenway Park without experiencing any sort of pain or discomfort in his surgically-repaired right elbow.

“It’s the first step in the new world for him, after a real hard summer of rehab,” said Bobby V in his review of the short workout. “And better than how he looked, is how he felt. He said he felt great afterwards. And that’s what’s really important.”

Lackey is on track to be fully healthy by the beginning of spring training next February. The 33-year-old is under contract through the 2014 season at a salary of $15.25 million per year.

  1. willclarkgameface - Sep 9, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Does the 2012 Chicken and Beer Softball League really count?

    I heard they play their games, thanks to John, on the Fenway field at 2 in the morning and stay until 6 just to get a good 6 inning game in between all the chicken and beer.

    Good for him. It’s about time he got back to doing his heavy lifting.

  2. Old Gator - Sep 9, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Live hitters!

    Brayyyyyyyyynnnnnnnsssssss…!

  3. kevinleaptrot - Sep 9, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    To celebrate, Lackey double fisted 15 beers in the clubhouse afterwards.

  4. kevinleaptrot - Sep 9, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    shaggylocks gonna be p-oed that we keep talking about fried chicken and beer.

  5. hushbrother - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    People forget Lackey WAS a good pitcher at one point, and theoretically could be again.

    • tfbuckfutter - Sep 9, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      Hopefully he feeds off negative reinforcement and/or incredibly low expectations.

      Didn’t work for Dice-K though.

    • willclarkgameface - Sep 9, 2012 at 1:29 PM

      A great deal of players were good 10 years ago that aren’t good any more.

  6. pisano - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    This jerk-off should have been in the Betty Ford clinic.

  7. spudatx - Sep 9, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    The more interesting contract detail that was missed above is that Lackey is under contract for $500k in 2015 if the club wants him (and they almost certainly will). If Lackey can put down one of the Coors Light cans and throw like he was capable of prior to the injury, he might be a real bargain for the team over the balance of the contract.

  8. sabatimus - Sep 9, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

  9. aceshigh11 - Sep 9, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Any chance the Sox would cut him, or is that a bridge too far based on the salary he’s owed?

    I can’t stand the guy, but supposedly he’s popular in the clubhouse. If he actually came back and was a decent mid-to-back of the order pitcher, I could live with him.

    • pisano - Sep 9, 2012 at 5:54 PM

      aces…. the guys a pos, he had problems in Anaheim. The Angels didn’t want any part of him when he became FA, that in itself should have said something about him. The Angels are all about pitching, so to let him walk said a lot about what they thought.

      • willclarkgameface - Sep 9, 2012 at 9:56 PM

        Bingo on this comment.

        The Angels had the opportunity to get this guy back, but they passed and it was absolutely the right move. He sucks and will be a #5 starter in Boston for the remainder of his time there.

        There is a possibility that they can get rid of him with the way his contract is structured and the fact that he had TJ surgery. I think it’s an affordable dump for a team with a decent amount of money. It’s my guess that they start the year with him and get him out of town by end of June because he can’t handle the scrutiny in one of the shittiest media markets in the nation.

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 10, 2012 at 1:09 AM

        Oh, I know the guy’s a creep, but if the Sox are stuck with him, they’re stuck with him, and there’s nothing they can do.

        My only point is that if he HAS to serve out the remainder of his contract, I just hope he can give the team 10-12 wins as a #4 or #5, and keep his mouth shut the rest of the time.

  10. hockeyflow33 - Sep 9, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    I watched him throw batting practice all last season and I was less than impressed

    • bw1980 - Sep 10, 2012 at 6:33 AM

      I think they needed to provide a bit of clarity prior to posting this article: Valentine was impressed by the hitters when Lackey threw BP. It’s the first time he’s seen any of this AA line-up hit balls out of the park, no less the infield.

      So there’s Lackey’s first positive contribution to the franchise: he actually made Sox hitters feel good about themselves instead of inspiring feelings of confidence only in the opposition.

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