Lou Merloni is down on the fort -- Fort Myers, that is. He's had his eyes on all the Red Sox players so far in camp, and comes away impressed with some, and not so impressed with others.
Joe Haggerty is in studio to ask Merloni what the scoop is down there. Who's impressed Merloni so far? The answer may surprise you.
"I would say your boy, Haggs - John Lackey," Merloni said. "There's a lot of opinion about this guy and I understand where it comes from. But when you watch him you watch with unbiased eyes and I know he looks good physically, but watching him on the mound, it was effortless. I was really impressed with how he threw the baseball. It looked like there wasn't much effort and windup yet the ball was coming out of his hand.
"Salty was catching him, and I thought just about every ball he threw was down at the knees, and probably kind of one-hand everything he threw above that. So I thought it was pretty impressive. I was interested to see how the weight loss would translate onto the mound, and I thought he looked good."
Merloni was also impressed with third baseman Will Middlebrooks.
But it's not all rainbows and butterflies down in camp. While Lackey may have lost a few pounds, it looks like he gave some of them to Felix Doubront, according to Merloni.
"I gotta be honest, I'm not exactly loving what I see when I look at Felix Doubront," Merloni said. " This is a guy that has had conditioning problems in the past. He got a taste of it a few years back. he came out, didn't really do much in the offseason and missed the entire season. Was motivated, spent the entire season in the big leagues last year.
"You just hope he did the work this offseason and didn't just sit there and think 'I've got it locked, I'm in this rotation' because right now it looks like he's added a few pounds. We'll see how this thing translates. Hope he doesn't miss too much time before you get Felix Doubront going."