Notes: Lackey feeling even stronger for 2014 season

Notes: Lackey feeling even stronger for 2014 season
February 20, 2014, 4:45 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Last spring, having missed the entire previous season due to Tommy John surgery, John Lackey was uncertain what to expect. He began spring training slowly, with the Red Sox monitoring his activity closely.
Lackey enjoyed a big bounce-back season, going 10-13 with a 3.52 ERA, and this spring, the uncertainty is gone.
"A lot easier this year, for sure," said Lackey. "I don't have to do some of the rehab I had to do last year. I can just kind of get into regular workouts. I'm feeling great physically, so it's just time to do it again."
It's possible that Lackey may be even stronger this season, a year further removed from the surgery and the trauma to his right elbow.    
"A lot of people I've talked to with the surgery, the second year, they do feel even better, stronger," said Lackey. "But a lot of them weren't 35, too, you know what I mean. I feel like I've put in a lot of work to be ready again for this season, so I'm pretty confident."
Counting the post-season, Lackey pitched 216 innings, but that didn't surprise him. Rather, it's what he expected of himself, post-surgery or not.
"Yes, without a doubt," he said. "I busted my ass last off-season. I've thrown 200 innings, I don't know six, seven, eight times. It's something I expect out of myself. I put in the off-season work, put in the work in between starts to get to that number. I think that's an important number, for sure."
Lackey has now experienced both the highs and lows of competing in Boston. In 2011, when he performed poorly (in part because of the torn elbow ligament that would require surgery), he was roundly booed.
Last season, he won over the fans with his pitching, especially in the post-season.
"It's been a crazy ride, I guess," he said of his experience. "But honestly, I don't look at a whole lot of stuff, negative or positive. I don't read a whole bunch of stuff. I don't listen to a lot of stuff. I'm pretty comfortable with who I am, and pretty comfortable with who I am in that clubhouse. Being a good teammate is something I take a lot of pride in and if I'm good with those guys in there, I feel pretty good about it."

Jake Peavy, who had been held out of most activity for the first few days of camp because of some inflammation in his right ring finger, threw his first bullpen Thursday without any issue.
"It was really his first bullpen," said John Farrell. "But the fact that he's back in the flow of things (was encouraging). He was held out because of some discomfort in that hand and that's not there (anymore), so that's a good thing."
Other pitchers will throw live batting practice Friday, but Peavy, being slightly behind, will need two more bullpen sessions before throwing live BP.
"I can't say it's going to be a real long delay for his first outing here in camp," said Farrell. "There's still plenty of time to get him up to the appropriate number of pitches to start the season."


Francisco Tena, a pitcher on the Dominican Summer League roster, was suspended 50 games by Major League Basbeall Thursday for "testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The suspension will be effectivre at the start of the Dominican Summer League season.