Lackluster Lackey

John Lackey's sub-standard performance have been one of the many subplots of this thrilling 2011 Red Sox season, and unfortunately not for the right reasons. Lackey has again proven that he is not the man for middle of the rotation starting job. Lackey was signed in 2010 after being the ace in Anaheim for 5 years prior. He has been anything but that in Boston. In just 13 starts this year, Lackey has given up 60 runs, well over half of any of his years in Anaheim since 2005. And it isn't the walks, or the long ball that's doing Lackey in this year like many pitchers, but it's the constant hits that are strung together in every one of his starts, inning after inning. After a satisfactory at best 2010 season with the sox, going 14-11 and giving up a career high 233 hits, Lackey was expected to finally pull himself together, however, so far this year he is just 5-8 with a 7.47 ERA! That is just appalling for someone of his caliber. For someone who has averaged a career 4.03 ERA and 87.6 hits per year, a 7.47 ERA and 60 hits NOT EVEN HALFWAY through the season is unacceptable.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing Andrew Miller take a 5 spot in the rotation and sending Lackey to the bullpen. This is the problem with the sox as of late: They are trying to accomodate and cater to too many players, especially John Lackey. Do I think it's a permanent solution? No, however, I think it could help him in the long run and we may actually get a few extra ounces of the real John Lackey towards the end of the season and into the playoffs. He does have the experience, after all.

You see, Lackey right now is like that friend that you play pickup sports with. This friend isn't very good, athletic, or coordinated, but you still pass him the ball just so he doesn't quit the game and make it uneven. Terry Francona is still passing him the ball, giving him chance after chance, but how far can this go before he has to do something about it? Ok, so we invested a lot of money in Lackey, I understand that, but is there no such thing as a bad investment? Look at some of the guys the sox have brought in over the years who have become total busts: Eric Gagne, Julio Lugo, JD drew, Mike Cameron, David Wells, Edgar Renteria, Daisuke Matsusaka, and the list goes on. I don't have a problem with Lackey as a member of the sox, but I can't handle him starting games anymore, at least not right now. He has to figure something out to get back to the pitcher we all know that he really is.