John Lackey remains on the Red Sox roster. But it’s unclear for how long.
The righthander, who left the mound in the fifth inning on Saturday with a bicep strain, is “unlikely” to make his scheduled start on Friday according to manager John Farrell. But beyond that, the Red Sox offered little information.
“He’s improved,” Farrell said. “He’s still on a 48-72 hour recovery period. There’s no roster move to announce of any kind right now. The most encouraging thing though [is] following the MRI, it showed some inflammation in the bicep. That’s been it.”
Farrell said there is no tear in the muscle. Lackey was scheduled to be examined again Monday. Then the Sox will figure where they go from there.
Because of the day off on Tuesday, the Sox would not need a fifth starter until Sunday.
Farrell said that before Lackey gets back on the mound, he would have to go through “a good test of some sort.” That could be a extended bullpen session or a simulated game.”
If Lackey cannot start on Sunday, Farrell indicated that Alfredo Aceves would be the choice.
Earlier in the day, Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino said that based on his understanding, an MRI on Lackey’s arm revealed a mid-biceps strain and nothing more serious.
“My information is incomplete, but my understanding of his MRI is that he had a mid-biceps strain, no structural damage,” said Lucchino. “When you watched it you couldn’t help but feel sad for John Lackey, who by the way is a very good guy. I know the public perception may be different than that, but he is a great teammate. I think he’s going to miss a start or two, I’m told, but let’s hope it’s not much more than that.”
Also, Lucchino credited the team’s 4-2 start and strong spring training to manager John Farrell and the team’s chemistry,
“John’s been a great leader,” Lucchino said. “He’s been pitch-perfect all the way along.”
He added, “This is not a fraternity. We’re not pulling together the coolest guys in the class. But it is important. We’re trying to put together a winning baseball team.”
Lucchino was ultimately the man who hired Bobby Valentine, who was disastrous in one season as Red Sox manager. The Sox CEO said that he tried to hire Farrell a year earlier, but the Blue Jays would not let him go.
“We conducted a search and decided on Bobby Valentine because Bobby was the best of the people that we had available,” said Farrell. “We had hoped at the beginning of that search that we’d be able to land John Farrell of Toronto.”
From a bad managerial decision to a good one, Lucchino spent a good deal of the interview discussing the trade that sent Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Josh Beckett to the Dodgers season. The trade unloaded a huge chunk of Boston’s payroll and allowed them more flexibility for the future. It also brought the Sox back a couple of strong pitching prospects.
“We got a lot of what we wanted,” Lucchino said. “Ben did an excellent job in holding out for the two pitchers [Rubby de la Rosa and Allen Webster]. We would have been happy to get one.”
The Dodgers, Lucchino said, initiated the trade talks.
“I did get the initial call from [Dodgers president] Stan Kasten to inquire if we’d be willing to unload some of our higher-priced players,” said Lucchino. “He actually prefaced it by saying, ‘Larry, I’ve never made a phone call like this before in the history of my time in baseball.’”
With overpaid players like Alex Rodriguez on the roster, the Yankees are in a similar position to the one the Red Sox were in last year. Lucchino was asked if he felt bad for New York.
“No, I don’t think I have that emotion in me,” he said.
Lucchino mentioned last week’s New Yorker magazine cover featuring Yankees players on crutches and in various states of disrepair.
“They will find a way to bounce back. Remember, they’re playing without four or five of their top players.”
On Boston’s budding shortstop controversy, Lucchino said the team would give Stephen Drew a chance at the job when he returns to the team.
“I don’t think our fans have gotten to know Stephen Drew yet. And when they see him play and he produces I think they will understand the dilemma that Jose Iglesias has caused us,” he said.