John Lackey suffers biceps strain in first start back from Tommy John surgery

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UPDATE: Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Lackey will fly back to Boston tomorrow for an MRI.

3:25 PM: Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports that Lackey left the game with a right biceps strain. Of course, that’s just the initial diagnosis and it doesn’t tell us much. We should know more soon.

3:00 PM: John Lackey was back in action in a regular season game today for the first time since Tommy John surgery in November of 2011. Unfortunately he didn’t last long.

According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, Lackey left today’s start against the Blue Jays in the bottom of the fifth inning with an apparent injury to his right arm. It didn’t look good. Lackey immediately grabbed at his biceps area after throwing an arrant pitch with Jose Reyes at the plate. Replays showed that he may have felt some discomfort on the previous pitch, but that one extra pitch is what did him in.

It’s a real shame, as Lackey was pitching really well in his return to major league action. He gave up two runs (a two-run homer by J.P. Arencibia) over 4 1/3 innings while striking out eight and walking just one.

Max Scherzer: ‘There’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions’

Max Scherzer
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MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.

Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.

Scherzer’s statement:

After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.

Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.

Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.