Friday, April 6, 2012

Getting off the DL

ESPN notes that the Red Sox are opening with nine players on the disabled, and the total value of their 2012 contracts is $59.27 million.  Ouch.  That's more than the total team salaries of either the Oakland A's or the San Diego Padres.

Most of that, of course, is attributable to the salaries of Carl Crawford ($20.36 million), John Lackey ($15.95 million) and Daisuke Matsuzaka ($10.33 million).  Crawford is taking his time in rehab, but should still get plenty of opportunities in the lineup to try and justify his paycheck.  But what about Lackey and Matsuzaka?

Matuszaka underwent Tommy John surgery on June 2, 2011.  As of this writing, he's down in Fort Myers, getting his pitch count up.  Some have suggested that he could be ready to return to the active roster in early June, or possibly even May.  That's a pretty quick return from Tommy John surgery, and only time will tell if he will succeed.  But at least he has a good attitude:
[Staying in Boston after 2011] would be the ideal situation, but before I can talk about staying long term I have to prove that I belong to stay here. I have to pitch to the level that’s expected in Boston . . .With it being my last season on my contract, I’d like to do everything I can to get myself into a situation to contribute with the limited time that I have.
Lackey underwent Tommy John surgery on November 1, 2011.  So, he's five months behind Matsuzaka.  Here are his plans for the year:
My doctor doesn’t want me to pitch this year. He says it was pretty messed up and doesn’t think it would be good for me. . . I’m just going to kind of hang out, work hard, and support the team a little bit. I still want to be around the team. Still want to be around my buddies and support these guys and help them have a good year.
Nice work if you can get it!

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