Chicago Cubs need to avoid bringing back John Lackey for 2018
By Jake Misener
Chicago Cubs: Keeping the ball in the yard a challenge for Lackey
If one were to try to sum up John Lackey’s biggest struggle in 2017, they would not have to do much research. He simply failed to keep the long-ball in check.
On the year, the right-hander served up nearly two homers per nine (1.9 to be exact) – by far the worst mark of his big-league career.
Control, as a whole, was an issue for Lackey as his strikeout-to-walk ratio dropped from 3.40 in 2016 back to his career average of 2.81 in 2017. Right there tells me that this year’s version of John Lackey seems far more likely in 2018 than what we saw during the team’s World Series run of two years ago.
That lack of control led to his allowing 36 home runs, the highest total in the league, in 2017. He came away with a 4.59 ERA across 170 2/3 innings of work – but his 5.30 FIP suggests he benefited from the Cubs defense. Still, he put together some solid stretches of play during the year – surely enough to get him at least one more year in the bigs.