There is no
debate over which team has benefitted more from last year’s trade-deadline deal
betweenthe Red Sox and Cardinals.
The Red Sox
sent John Lackey, the winner of two deciding World Series games, to St. Louis
for outfielder Allen Craig and Joe Kelly on July 31, 2014.
(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
weekend, the Globe’s Nick Carado took a look at how that trade looks worsedaily for the Red Sox.
predicted he’d win the Cy Young before spring training, has been a disaster. He
has a 1-2 record with a 6.35 ERA, and looks ticketed for a spot in the bullpen
point of Kelly’s season was watching him overpower the Yankees with his four-seam
fastball only to get lit up with his secondary pitches on Sunday Night Baseball.
Curt Schilling and John Kruk were there to painfully point out the obvious,
most frustrating thing about Kelly. He clearly has the ability to be a No. 2
starter, if not an all-out ace.
Craig, well, most of us have disliked him since that obstruction call in Game 3
of the World Series. He has done almost nothing good in a Boston uniform, and the
thought of him being trade bait for anything of substance has long gone out the
that he’ll return to the Allen Craig of 2011 through 2013 has disappeared like
a Kelly slider over the Green Monster.
Craig and his .135 average was sent to Pawtucket this weekend.
Forget for a
minute that the Red Sox would have to eat about $25 million if they designate
Craig for assignment. Forget for a second that Lackey is the lowest paid player
on the Cardinals’ 25-man active roster at $507,500 this season thanks to a
clause in his contract that kicked in when he missed the 2012 season because of
Tommy John surgery.
Lackey has a 3.20 ERA with 28 strikeouts and nine walks in six starts for the
Cardinals in 2015.
reason the Red Sox are losing that trade so badly is the attitude Lackey took
with him to St. Louis.
hate to lose, but not many wear that fact on their sleeve like Lackey does.
Reading his lips when the manager comes out to remove him from a game is
something we all miss.
“This is my
f---in’ guy” or “I f---in’ got this” are some of the examples of Lackey’s outburst
as the manager slowly made his way to the mound.
will often channel his inner “Oil Can” Boyd and argue with himself as he
circles the mound, seems to will himself to success at times. The bigger the
game, the bigger the performance you get from Lackey.
For the most
part, Lackey didn’t live up to the five-year, $82.5 million contract he signed
with the Red Sox in December 2009. He was disappointing for the majority of
those five years, especially when he didn’t pitch at all in 2012.
counted most, though, Lackey delivered.
He won Game
6 of the 2013 World Series. He also had a key relief appearance, pitching a
scoreless eighth inning in Boston’s 4-2 Game 4 win in St. Louis.
In the ALCS,
Lackey was the winning pitcher in the 1-0 victory over the Tigers in Game 3.
attitude is fun to watch when Lackey is pitching. It’s also an attitude that could
rub off on teammates, especially young pitchers who have the stuff to be great
but lack the makeup.
Joe Kelly is
a decade younger than Lackey and he has a better arm. Kelly is pushing triple
digits on his fastball, though he almost seems afraid to use it.
If you could
take Lackey’s mentality and put it in Kelly — or Clay Buchholz for that matter — we
really would be talking about the Cy Young Award.
if Kelly had half of that mindset that drives Lackey, the Cardinals never would
have traded him in the first place.