Anyone who saw Boston Red Sox SP John Lackey injure his arm during a start this April, would have assumed his fantasy baseball season was over. He threw a pitch in the fifth inning and instantly clutched his arm after a blood-curdling scream. Needless to say, things weren’t looking good for the veteran hurler.
Fortunately, after the game it came out that it was just a strained biceps and that he would only need to be placed on the 15-day DL. It looked as if his season, and even his career, would be coming to end. However, with the news that he would only be on the shelf for a couple weeks, some wise fantasy owners decided to stash the veteran.
Since returning to action, the journeyman has proven to be an extremely reliable fantasy option. In his six starts before the All-Star break, Lackey was particularly untouchable. He was 4-1 and lasted at least seven innings in each outing. He had an amazing 2.016 ERA over that stretch and was pitching like an All-Star.
However, the veteran was somewhat touched up in his first start after the turn. Lackey allowed four earned runs against the New York Yankees through 6.1 innings. He allowed 10 hits in the contest and it would end up being his seventh loss (7-7) of the season.
It was Lackey’s lone hiccup over the last two months, though, so fantasy owners shouldn’t lose too much faith in the righty. He still has a glimmering 2.95 ERA on the year and is striking out 8.44 batters per nine innings of work, which is pretty good considering where he was just a couple months ago.
Lackey will be a reliable third starter down the stretch and the 34-year-old has proven that he has a lot left in his arm.