The thought of starting John Lackey on Sunday against the Yankees scared the Red Sox so much that they reportedly tried to get Chris Capuano from the Mets for some cash, but that didn’t work out and now they’re turning back to Lackey.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Lackey will indeed face New York at Yankee Stadium despite getting knocked around for eight runs in his last start and coughing up a total of 97 runs in 125 innings since May 1.
On the other hand, Lackey has already faced the Yankees three times this season and the Red Sox went 2-1 in those games despite his 6.50 ERA. Of course, providing the type of run support Lackey usually needs will be tough against Ivan Nova, who’s allowed more than three runs in a start just once since June.
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.
As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.
We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.
James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:
Spring training is less than a month away, folks!