Thursday, July 31, 2014
Our Regional Nightmare is Over: Lackey Headed to St. Louis, Craig & Kelly Coming to Boston
He bounced back in a big way last season and helped the Red Sox win a World Series title but even then, it was always difficult to pretend to cheer for that jerk John Lackey. The good news for Boston fans is that now that awkward situation is behind us since he was traded to St. Louis (56-50) along with minor league pitcher Corey Littrell and cash considerations for outfielder Allen Craig and right-handed starter Joe Kelly.
Lackey is 11-7 with 3.60 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 116 strikeouts in 21 starts this season. At age 35 (36 in October) and coming off a major elbow injury, it's a miracle that he has returned to this level. His team option for next year is only $500,000 which shows how little faith the Red Sox had that he could ever be himself again.
Like Yoenis Cespedes, acquired earlier today from Oakland, Craig was an All-Star last season. The difference is that this year, he's gone off a cliff coming back from a foot injury (remember that from the World Series?). This season he's hitting .237/.291/.346 with seven homers, 44 RBIs, 17 doubles and 34 runs in 97 games. Last season, he hit .315/.373/.457 with 13 homers, 97 RBIs, 29 doubles and 71 runs in 134 games. Granted it was a smaller sample size but last season's breakout wasn't that crazy since he was good in 2011 and 2012. At age 30, he's a good guy to take a chance on.
Kelly is 26 and this is only his third full season in MLB. He's also been banged up, dealing with a hamstring injury hence why he's only made seven starts in 2014. He's 2-2 with 4.37 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. He was solid last season, 10-5 in 37 games (15 starts) with 2.69 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 79 strikeouts/44 walks in 124 innings. Since the Red Sox' pitching rotation is now wide open, Clay Buchholz is the only holdover from Opening Day, Kelly should have a great chance to earn a spot for at least the next few years.
UPDATE 7/31: Looks like the Red Sox are done for the day after they shipped Andrew Miller (3-5, 2.34 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 69 strikeouts/13 walks in 50 appearances) to Baltimore for Double-A pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (their No. 3 prospect). Miller is having a career year but he'll never be better than this; get ready to see him facing David Ortiz a million times a season.
Showing that they have a good sense of humor, the Red Sox traded one bucket of crap-Stephen Drew-to the Yankees at the last minute before the deadline for a bucket of shit-second baseman Kelly Johnson. That means that Xander Bogaerts will get to move back to shortstop (where he should have been all season) and Will Middlebrooks will return from purgatory aka Pawtucket. The ironic part is that New York comes to Fenway for a three-game series starting tomorrow night. At least there is a reason to watch the rest of the season with all these new guys on the Red Sox.