John Lackey Might Actually Be In The Best Shape Of His Career

Picture now officially outdated. - Elsa

Nobody's going to say John Lackey looks great, but for once the stories about a player being in the best shape of their career are clearly true.

It's the most annoying headline of the offseason: "_____ is in the best shape of his career." It comes when the well runs dry in terms of signings and trades, when there's nothing to do but count down the days until pitchers and catchers report.

This year, the player whose shape we've heard the most about is John Lackey. Not a surprise--those who fell the furthest are the ones who this sort of news can mean the most for. John Lackey was felled by his UCL (and, some would argue, his sheer Lackyness--Lackosity?), yes, but dropping a few pounds probably can't hurt.

Still, or that to matter, there has to be some actual substance behind all that talk. And after hearing about how great he looked before 2011, I'm not really interested in--

Wait, what?*

Who...?**

Dear God, somebody get this man a biscuit!***

While the eerie, almost emaciated look of the third picture seems to be more a trick of the camera than anything else, there's no doubt about it: John Lackey is looking slim.

Now, ignoring the fact that Lackey's head looks weirdly out of place on his body, there's no denying this is at least a little encouraging, right? I mean, sure, the last time John Lackey was in the best shape of his career, he produced a historically awful season. But that was thanks to a bum UCL. Two data points are not enough to tell us that the secret to John Lackey's powers lay in his extra layers, right?

For a team that desperately needs something to change in its rotation, Lackey's transformation can't be a bad thing. While we all hope that Dempster is good, Lester rebounds, Doubront advances, and Buchholz maintains his second-half momentum, Lackey is still a part of this group whether we like it or not. After the first three years of his time with the team, nobody is going to depend on him, no matter how low the scale goes. Even holding out a real hope for any significant production from the former Angel might be too much to ask after the disaster that was 2011.

Still, no matter how infinitesimally small you may consider the chance for Lackey to bounce back, these shots of a new, in-shape Lackey should at least bump them up a bit. If nothing else, it means he's trying.

*(Via Scott Lauber)

**(Via Gordon Edes)

***(Via Pete Abraham)

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Over the Monster

You must be a member of Over the Monster to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Over the Monster. You should read them.

Join Over the Monster

You must be a member of Over the Monster to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Over the Monster. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker