Red Sox skipping struggling John Lackey’s turn in the rotation

19 Comments

Yesterday’s rainout forced the Red Sox to juggle their rotation and they’ve decided to skip John Lackey’s turn altogether rather than push everyone else back.

So now Lackey, who was the scheduled starter for the rained out game, will make his next start Tuesday against the A’s in Oakland.

Lackey has a 15.58 ERA through two starts, allowing 15 runs on 17 hits in 8.2 innings, and the Red Sox opted to skip him rather than the similarly struggling Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Lackey is making $15.25 million this season and is owed another $15.25 million in 2012, 2013, and 2014, so the Red Sox have little choice but to be patient with the 31-year-old right-hander. He has a 4.83 ERA through 35 starts with the Red Sox, allowing opponents to bat .283 with a .795 OPS after limiting opponents to a .263 batting average and .720 OPS in eight years with the Angels.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

Al Bello/Getty Images
3 Comments

CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.