John Lackey added to the Red Sox’ pitching woes last season without throwing a single pitch. Lackey, in his third season in Boston, missed all of 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Many players have pitched well following the procedure, and that could be the case for Lackey in 2013. However, this is the same pitcher who is 26-23 through his first two years in Boston.
Lackey isn’t the only hurler who is looking to put 2012 in the past. Jon Lester went 9-14 last season with a 4.82 ERA after being one win away from a 20-win season in 2011 and averaging more than 16 wins a year before the 2012 season. The southpaw will try to regain his status as the ace of the Sox staff in 2013.
Another player who wants to rewind to 2011 is Jacoby Ellsbury, who battled injuries again in 2012. In his MVP-caliber season in 2011, Ellsbury batted .321 with 32 home runs and 105 RBIs, and he’ll be looking to prove that those numbers are the norm going forward.
Daniel Bard was supposed to be the Red Sox’ closer at one point, showing tremendous upside as a prospect with his ability to hit the high 90s with his fastball. That didn’t work out, and neither did his transition to the starting rotation. With newly acquired Joel Hanrahan taking over the closer role, and Andrew Bailey in the setup role, Bard’s role is uncertain. On the upside, Bard has been reunited with John Farrell, who was the Red Sox’ pitching coach during Bard’s first two seasons in the big leagues.