BOSTON (CBS) – A slimmer John Lackey checked in from the Red Sox Spring Training facilities in Fort Myers, Florida on Monday, with his 2010 season already behind him.
“Honestly I think it was a little overblown,” Lackey said of the season he went 14-11 with a 4.60 ERA. “Because I’ve been asked about it 400 times since I’ve been here. I’m not worried about last year honestly, I’m moving on.”
Lackey’s 2010 season was his first in a Red Sox uniform, and it took some time to get used to the powerful American League East. He allowed 233 hits in 215 innings, the highest total during his nine-year career.
“There’s definitely room for improvement,” the 32-year-old said. “I think the experience of a year here will help, for sure. I did some good things in the second half, I just have to keep them moving.”
Listen To John Lackey From Red Sox Spring Training
Lackey did lead the Sox in innings pitched and quality starts (21) in 2010. This year, he showed up to camp 10-lbs lighter after an off-season workout plan that consisted of more cardio than previous years.
“I was just trying to get myself the best chance possible to stay healthy and maintain a high level of performance throughout he year,” Lackey said of the weight-loss. “We’re all pretty excited for this season. I want to be apart of it for sure.”
“He looks good. Anytime someone steps into camp, whether they’re 22 or 32, and they look like they’ve worked real hard we’re thrilled,” Manager Terry Francona said of his pitcher. “He obviously spent a lot of time and worked hard in doing that and we hope it transfer onto the field.”
Along with the slimmer physique, Lackey can take his year of experience in the AL East and complete what he thinks is one of the best rotations in baseball.
“It can be definitely one of the tops in the league, for sure,” Lackey said. “You saw the way (Clay) Buchholz really emerged last year. (Jon) Lester, in my mind, is the best in the game. (Josh) Beckett just comes back and (is) himself, we’re going to be just fine.”
A better lineup will also help. With the additions of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, along with the return of injured all-stars Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox can boast a lineup as powerful as their rotation.
“I made a good decision,” Lackey joked when asked about the addition of Gonzalez and Crawford. “One of the reasons you come to a place like this is cause they have the capability to do those sort of things, and they’re going to give you a chance to win a ring every year. It’s really fun to be in a place like that.”