BOSTON -- All reports on John Lackey are that he's either "on schedule" or "a little ahead of schedule" with his rehabilitation from elbow surgery, according to Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.
Lackey has made strides in his recover from Tommy John surgery, and he threw a light bullpen on Tuesday. Valentine spoke with the media before Wednesday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays and seemed pleased with Lackey's progression and his commitment level to that progression.
As a result, Valentine believes Lackey will pitch somewhere before the 2012 calendar year is over.
"He threw a light bullpen yesterday," Valentine said. "He's in the weight room. He's working extremely hard, in his conditioning effort, in his rehabilitation effort. I think the projections of him pitching before the year is out, meaning the calendar year, I think he's right on schedule. I don't know about the season. But he'll be pitching somewhere, I think, before the year's over."
The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.
In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal.
"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."
After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.
"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."
The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.
"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."
Could John Henry sell ownership of the Boston Red Sox anytime soon, or does he want to keep winning? Shaughnessy, Merloni, and Tanguay debate.