Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: Breaking down a starting rotation full of Cy Young contenders

Oct 7, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester (34) warms up in the bullpen before game one of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 7, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester (34) warms up in the bullpen before game one of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 29, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher John Lackey (41) reacts after the second inning in game four of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /

Even in his late-30s, Lackey ready to win it all again

When he came to Chicago last offseason, departing the rival Cardinals, John Lackey made it clear: he wanted another ring.

The veteran right-hander already had two World Series’ titles to his name: one in 2002 with the then-Anaheim Angels and another with the Boston Red Sox over a decade later. Now, he can add a third to the list – one that no-doubt carries a special significance.

But Lackey isn’t the type of guy to dwell on such things. His attention is already on the task at-hand: putting together another successful season – his 15th in the big leagues.

Last year, the Texas native fell just short of 190 innings, due largely to his missing several weeks late in the year with an injury his manager took the blame for. Still, he effective, pitching to a 3.81 FIP and benefitting from a league-leading defense behind him.

2017 could be his last season in professional baseball – as is the case with most veterans his age, it comes down to his physical performance. He could pitch next season, but even the idea this could be it has to be motivating – even for a guy who might be more competitive than anyone else in the game.

Lackey is here to eat innings and keep the fire burning, making sure complacency doesn’t sink into a still very young Cubs’ clubhouse. Honestly, there’s no one better in the game in that regard. Double-digit wins and a mid-3.00 ERA and you have another typical John Lackey performance.

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