Lackey takes hard luck loss vs. Phillies

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Lackey takes hard luck loss vs. Phillies

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
PHILADELPHIA -- John Lackey's start Wednesday night was leaps and bounds better than his last. After getting shelled in the rain last Wednesday, Lackey allowed just two runs over 7 23 innings in a losing effort.

"I felt pretty good,'' said Lackey, whose record dropped to 5-7. "I was locating a little bit of everything and mixing things up pretty well and gave us a chance.''

"I thought he was tremendous,'' said Terry Francona. "I thought he threw as good a breaking ball as we've seen. I think he felt the same way. He got us deep into the game, but we scored one run. That's a hard way to win. I thought he did terrific.''

Lackey walked one and struck out five while allowing eight hits.

"For the most part, since coming off the DL, I've thrown the ball pretty good,'' said Lackey. "I had one bad start in the rain and that's about it. I feel stronger than I did before (going on the) DL.''

Baseball analyst Peter Gammons, speaking on WEEI Wednesday, suggested that Lackey may require Tommy John surgery in August.

"You never know...I don't know,'' said Lackey. "What did it look like tonight? (Tommy John surgery) is a possibility for everyone in here. You throw that against the wall and see if it sticks. I think he straight made that up.''

GM Theo Epstein wouldn't confirm surgery being on the table, but parsed his words carefully.

"He was on the DL, obviously, for the elbow earlier in the year,'' said Epstein. "And I think it's been discussed publicly that he was treated with a shot and some rest, and that alleviated a lot of the symptoms to allow him to come back.

"With all our players, once you have an injury, especially a pitcher with an elbow or a shoulder, you monitor it constantly throughout the course of the year. It's just something that we're going to continue to monitor and make sure he's doing OK. He's taking the mound tonight, we'll watch him see how he's doing.

Pressed about the likelihood of surgery, Epstein again was careful in his response.

"You could say the same thing about every pitcher in baseball,'' Epstein said, "that every pitcher in baseball might have to have Tommy John surgery at some point. But, as I said, John had an elbow injury we're not hiding that. He had an elbow injury earlier in this year and he's had a history with some elbow issues in the past. The shot alleviated some of the symptoms, now it's our responsibility to monitor him and make sure those symptoms don't come back and make sure he's healthy enough to go out and pitch and pitch effectively. It's something as with all of our players that we monitor on a daily basis.''

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

After strong bullpen session, Koji Uehara could be back by Labor Day

After strong bullpen session, Koji Uehara could be back by Labor Day

BOSTON - For a bullpen that could use all the help it can get right now, there's the prospect that Koji Uehara could rejoin the Red Sox on Labor Day.

Uehara, who's been out since July 20 with a strained pectoral muscle, threw a bullpen Monday at Fenway that impressed John Farrell.

"He came out of today's work session in good fashion,'' said Farrell. "It was 25 pitches to hitters with good intensity to both his fastball and split. It's been impressive to see how he's handled the volume, and now, three times on the mound, the intensity to his bullpens and BP.''

Next up for Uehara will be a bullpen session Wednesday morning, followed by a live batting practice session Saturday in Oakland.

Since both Pawtucket's and Portland's seasons are over on Labor Day, Uehara won't have the option of going on a rehab assignment to face hitters before being activated.

But the Sox believe that he can build arm strength through these side sessions and BP sessions -- enough so that he could return to the active roster soon.

"We'll re-assess where is after Sunday,'' said Farrell, "and I wouldn't rule out activation [after that]. What we've done with Koji is just review how he feels after each session and we'll take it from there.''

Uehara, 41, is 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA, and while he's had a propensity for giving up homers (eight in just 36 innings), he had been throwing better before being injured.

And given the performance of the bullpen in general and the recent poor showings from Matt Barnes, the Sox would welcome Uehara back as soon as he's ready.

"The one thing that Koji has proven to us,'' noted Farrell, "is that, even with limited spring training work [in the past], he's been a very effective pitcher for us and obviously, he has a chance to make a very positive impact once he does return.''

Uehara's progress since late July has been a pleasant surprise for the Sox, who feared at the time of the injury that he might be done for the season.     

"To his credit,'' said Farrell, "he's worked his tail off and advanced fairly rapidly and he's withstanding the intensity that he's put into [the work]. A healthy Koji certainly adds to our bullpen.

 

Red Sox among ‘roughly half’ of MLB who’ll attend Tebow workout Tuesday

Red Sox among ‘roughly half’ of MLB who’ll attend Tebow workout Tuesday

Maybe Tim Tebow could be the eighth-inning guy? 

OK, OK. Maybe not. Still, the Red Sox will be among the “roughly half” of the MLB teams who will attend the former Heisman Trophy winner and Patriots’ 2013 training camp phenomenon’s baseball tryout on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Tebow is 29 and hasn’t played organized baseball since he was a junior in high school. He was an All-State performer in Florida back then.

Based on his accuracy and mechanics throwing a football, maybe DH would suit Tebow better than the mound.