Across the board, no matter what preview show you watch or website you read, the Boston Red Sox starting rotation’s success largely depends on getting a healthy John Lackey back to form. That process has officially begun this weekend and the consensus is so far so good.
Lackey only has one year in the books where he ranked in MVP and Cy-Young voting. Now roughly six years removed from that season with the Los Angeles Angels, the Red Sox want and need Lackey to return to that kind of form. The fact that he is coming off of a season where he had to sit it out completely might give him a fresh start. His first two seasons in a Red Sox uniform also weren’t quite up to the form he showed with the Angels.
In 2011, he gave up a ton of runs, and had the worst strikeouts per nine innings ratio of his career. Whether some of that was due to injury is largely irrelevant at this point.
So far in his very early spring work, he looks and feels pretty good. He said that he was really working only on his fastball first time out. He seems to be very relaxed and confident that he will be ready to go and ready to play better than ever in 2013.