John Lackey, Shaun Marcum have encouraging rehab outings
Shaun Marcum of the Mets and John Lackey of the Red Sox both had a promising minor-league rehab outing Monday.
Marcum went five innings in an extended spring training game in Port St. Lucie, Fla., working five shutout innings while allowing only three hits. He struck out four and didn't walk anyone (via MLB.com). He is in line to start Saturday, should the Mets pull the trigger. As things stand right now, that spot is open for Marcum.
Marcum is recovering from nerve irritation in his neck and hasn't made a big-league appearance this season.
Lackey worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings for Double-A Portland, only allowing three hits. He struck out five -- all looking -- and walked two. Via WEEI.com:
He threw 67 pitches, 45 strikes (67 percent), and according to a talent evaluator at the game, he was attacking the strike zone in sufficiently aggressive fashion that he started getting borderline calls with his fastball, which registered at 88-91 mph. That played into the fact that all five of his punchouts were on called third strikes. Lackey got three swings and misses on the night. Beyond the five punchouts, he recorded five of his six other outs via groundball.
There's a chance the Red Sox will put Lackey back in the rotation after this outing, but they may want to see him work deeper into a game. We'll know more in the next few days.
Lackey is recovering from a triceps injury that he suffered in his first start of the season, in which he struck out eight while allowing two earned runs in 4 1/3 inning.
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