7-23-2010: Lackey finally arrives, Sox acquire Hannahan, not sellers yet

The John Lackey we thought we signed has finally shown up the past few starts. How about those 8 innings of no-hit baseball (albeit against the punchless Mariners)? But perhaps more important, his K/9 rate is up, his BB/9 is down and the HR/9 is also trending down. I get the feeling that we’re about to experience some major run prevention in August.

The Red Sox acquired IF Jack Hannahan yesterday from the Seattle Mariners for a PTBNL or cash considerations. Hannahan is a career .224 hitter, but he’s a premier glove man (not unlike Toronto’s John McDonald), and has Major League experience playing every infield position except catcher. He should provide good depth in the middle infield, something we’ve lacked so far. As Buster Olney is quick to point out, this could spell the end for Jed Lowrie. You could see Theo Epstein spin Lowrie off for a decent reliever. Mike Lowell went 1-5 in his first rehab game, and has announced that he has no plans to retire early; my feeling is that they will try to showcase and unload Lowell, but failing that, Lowrie is a goner.

I know we’re seven games back, but the number we should really be concerned with is the wild card right now. Baseball Prospectus gives the Red Sox a 22% chance of reaching the playoffs today, but if we were to acquire a star player (4.5 WAR), that number increases to 38%. That number is tantalizing, but not so high that we need to mortgage the future for it. I think we more or less stand pat, adding a few spare parts here and there. It’s either going to be a lost year or a miracle season for our Sox.

Terry Francona thinks that Josh Beckett put too much pressure on himself following his contract extension, which led to poor performance and possibly injury. Just relax Josh, please. Good luck tonight. Tim Wakefield will move back to the bullpen to make room in the rotation.

Hallelujah, Jacoby Ellsbury may be close to beginning his rehab games in the minors.


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