When the Red Sox open their spring training schedule here tomorrow, it may seem like just another ho-hum exhibition in the Florida sun. Don’t tell that to John Lackey. “I’ve been fired up for this for over a year, absolutely,” said Lackey, who will start against the Tampa Bay Rays at JetBlue Park. “I’m excited to get it going.” Lackey’s two-inning stint will mark his first game action since Sept. 25, 2011, in New York, where he held the Yankees to three earned runs in six innings despite pitching with a shredded ligament in his right elbow. Less than a month later, he underwent Tommy John surgery and missed all of last season. There was one start last September in a Florida Instructional League game, but this will be different, Lackey said. And while it’s only the first of eight scheduled spring training starts before he can say he’s ready for the season, it’s a significant marker in the 34-year-old right-hander’s recovery. “There definitely will be a little extra juices flowing, for sure,” Lackey said. “Just glad to be feeling good and moving in the right direction.” Future is bright Never mind the lopsided outcome. Red Sox manager John Farrell didn’t tire of watching yesterday’s 11-1 rout of Boston College. “It was a little glimpse of the future,” Farrell said. There was top prospect Xander Bogaerts, the 20-year-old shortstop, lining a double to left field and cleanly fielding two plays at third base, where he will play in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. He will play third again tomorrow against the Rays before jetting off on a 16-hour flight to Taiwan, via New York, to join Team Netherlands.
John Lackey: Juices flow for elbow test
Boston Herald | Feb 22