After missing the entire 2012 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, John Lackey was on the mound for the opening of the Red Sox 2013 Spring Training season this afternoon with an inning of work against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Teammates who saw Lackey over the winter remarked that he was almost unrecognizable from before, and for Red Sox fans who had grown accustomed to what they perceived to be an under-performing pitcher, that was welcome news. The question was, would that change in appearance also lead to a change in results on the mound?
Lackey's outing consisted of 20 pitches, 10 of which were strikes. The NESN radar gun appeared to be a bit off on a few pitches (Jerry Remy described one pitch that showed on the screen as 53 mph as the best fastball Lackey had thrown up to that point), but he sat 88-89 and hit 90 once.
Control was a bit of an issue; of the 20 pitches Lackey threw, 10 were out of the strike zone and he seemed to be missing up. Even the one swinging strikeout he got (Jack Cust) appeared to be on a pitch up in the zone.
After the inning, Lackey predictably told NESN's Jenny Dell that he felt good, and it felt good to be back on the mound. Lackey's line was 1 IP 1R 1H 1HBP, 1BB, 1K.
Jim Monaghan 2/23/2013 02:26:00 PM Tweet