BOSTON -- It's not that John Lackey has lost his stuff. According to former Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell, the struggling starter's pitch execution is causing his ineffectiveness.
Farrell, who now manages the Toronto Blue Jays, told Comcast SportsNet New England's Carolyn Manno he notices little change in Lackey between 2010 and 2011.
"There's not a drastic difference. You still see the same quality of stuff," said Farrell, whose Blue Jays have tagged Lackey for 20 earned runs in three starts this season. "When you look at the three starts that John made against us this year, he's pitched with similar velocity as last year. It's just the consistency of location inside the strike zone."
Lackey has a 5-8 record with a 7.47 ERA in 2011, a marked decline from his 14-11, 4.40 ERA 2010 campaign. He was voted Theo Epstein's biggest mistake by CSNNE.com visitors.
When asked how Lackey can fix his problems on the mound, Farrell coyly refused to give away any trade secrets, as any opposing manager would.
"I'm sure he and new Sox pitching coach Curt Young are working very hard to get that done," he said.
Mooke Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and a mix of Andrew Benintendi, Brock Holt, Blake Swihart and Chris Young brought postgame celebrations to a new level last season.
Most Sox fans are familiar with the outfield victory "Win, Dance, Repeat" where the trio would dance and pretend to photograph the game's best player between them. The celebration ended with a pose at first, but as seen the MLB the Show 17's freshly released trailer, a few more wrinkes were added in.
In fact, here's a taste of the celebrations and what else to expect from Playstation's 2017 MLB game:
Carlos Beltran, the 39-year-old switch hitter who was a potential target of the Red Sox as a DH, agreed to a free-agent deal with the Houston Astros, ESPN's Buster Olney reported.
FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports that it's a one-year, $16 million deal.
Beltran played for the Astros in 2004. He was dealt from the New York Yankees to the Texas Rangers at the July 31 trading deadline last season. He totaled 35 homers, 101 RBI and hit .295 in 2016.
The Red Sox, looking to fill the void left by David Ortiz's retirement, will be looking for a DH at the Winter Meetings that begin next week. One possibility is the return of Mike Napoli, who played for the A.L. champion Cleveland Indians last season.
More on the Winter Meetings here from CSN Red Sox Insider Sean McAdam.