|John Lackey faces hitters for first time since surgery||09.08.12 at 5:13 pm ET|
Red Sox starter John Lackey threw live batting practice Saturday, marking the first time the veteran right-hander has thrown to hitters since getting Tommy John surgery last Nov. 1. Lackey, 33, threw 15 pitches in the session as teammates looked on.
“[It was] the first step in a new world for him after a real hard summer of rehab,” manager Bobby Valentine said. “Better than how he looked is how he felt. He said he felt great afterwards, and that’s what’s really important.”
Valentine said that he felt Lackey’s session was “OK considering that it’s the first time” he’s thrown to hitters in quite some time.
“His breaking ball was really good, which is usually the last thing,” Valentine said. “He’s been working on that less. It was good, he just didn’t have real good control of his two-seamer.”
The manager said that the next step for Lackey is “more of the same,” and while he said he wasn’t positive when he would face hitters again, Valentine said he “wouldn’t be surprised if it’s four days from [Saturday].”
Valentine also said he wasn’t sure whether Lackey would get into any game situations at any level before the end of the season, and the pitcher told ESPN Boston’s Joe McDonald that he will not pitch in games this season.
Lackey is in the third year of the a five-year, $82.5 million deal he signed in December of 2009. In two seasons with the Sox, Lackey is 26-23 with a 5.26 earned run average.
A couple of other notes from Saturday:
- Valentine offered no update on David Ortiz. The designated hitter has been out since suffering an Achilles strain on July 16.
- Felix Doubront said he doesn’t feel the change in pitching coach last month has had anything to do with his recent struggles. The left-hander has seen his earned run average rise in five consecutive starts, with his latest lackluster showing coming Friday in the form of a four-plus inning, five earned-run performance against the Blue Jays. Valentine said prior to Saturday’s game that any discussion regarding shutting Doubront down has yet to take place.
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