Jon Lester may have spilled the beans on John Lackey‘s post-2017 plans.
Last night the Chicago Cubs clinched the NL Central, and during the postgame celebration Lester had this to say about his teammate:
“He’s one of the best teammates, one of the best people, I’ve ever got to play with. Tonight was probably his last regular-season start. Here’s to one hell of a career!”
Except, of course, Lackey has made no such announcement about his career. When asked about Lester’s comments, he said he’d talk to his teammates on the bus.
Lackey, 38, will be a free agent at the end of this season, as his two-year $32 million deal with the Cubs expires. In 2017 he was 12-11 with a 4.56 ERA (ERA+ 95) with a K/BB ratio of 148/53 in 169.2 innings across 30 starts. He leads the NL in home runs allowed with 36. Overall he’s pitched in 15 seasons, winning 188 games. He has three World Series rings already by virtue of his service with the 2002 Angels, 2013 Red Sox and 2016 Cubs.
Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season as he suffered a lat injury in mid-March and has been on the disabled list since. He started a rehab stint in the minors last week, making a start for Double-A Reading on May 15 and another start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday.
Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports that Eickhoff went a twinge in the fingertips of his right index and middle fingers late in Sunday’s outing after throwing a curve and on the subsequent pitch. The Phillies have paused Eickhoff’s rehab as a result and will evaluate him further.
Eickhoff went on the disabled list in late August last year due to nerve irritation in his right hand, so this latest setback could be related to that.
Eickhoff showed promise early in his career, posting a combined 3.44 ERA in 41 starts between 2015-16. He struggled to a 4.71 ERA last year before ending his season early with the nerve issue. Eickhoff was one of the many prospects the Phillies got from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade.