4/6/2013 1:04 A.M. ET
Lackey readies for first start since '11
By Ian Browne and Jason Mastrodonato / MLB.com
TORONTO -- When John Lackey takes the mound for the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre, it will mark his first appearance in a regular-season game since Sept. 25, 2011.
The road back from Tommy John surgery has been a long one for Lackey, and now he gets the payoff.
"You could probably talk to any number of pitchers who have gone through Tommy John surgery and the countless hours of rehab," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "I would hope, and I'm sure he will, take a moment to reflect back on what the last 16 months have been. We all feel John has the ability to impact our team in a positive way as much as anyone in our clubhouse."
Lackey went 2-0 with a 5.40 ERA in four Grapefruit League starts this spring.
"He was consistent," Farrell said . "And not just from the stuff he took to the mound every day, but the consistency of his command throughout Spring Training. You're going to see guys go through some arm strength fluctuations that can lead to inconsistent command or stuff, but I think that's a tribute to what he's done with his body in reshaping it. It's given him more consistent body control that's led to more consistent strike throwing."
Iglesias day to day with right arm contusion
TORONTO -- Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias, one of the best early-season stories on the team, left Friday's game against the Blue Jays with a contusion in his right arm after the third inning. The Red Sox consider him day to day and will re-evaluate him prior to Saturday's matinee.
Iglesias sustained the injury when he was hit on the arm by 93-mph fastball from Josh Johnson in the top of the second. Though he appeared to be in a considerable amount of pain, he stayed in the game until the top of the fourth, when Pedro Ciriaco pinch-hit for him.
Ciriaco wasted no time making an impact, banging an RBI single to left.
Iglesias, who is hitting .583 over the first four games, was likely going to be optioned to the Minors in a few days anyway.
Stephen Drew, Boston's starting shortstop, played the second game of his Minor League rehab assignment on Friday in Portland, going 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Drew, who sustained a concussion March 7, when he was hit by a pitch, could be activated by the Red Sox as early as Monday's home opener against the Orioles.
Lucchino prefers two leagues without DH
BOSTON -- The Red Sox don't have an Interleague game until May 28, when they travel to Philadelphia, but some teams started Interleague Play as early as Opening Day.
With Interleague games on display all season in 2013, there's already chatter about the possibility of the designated hitter becoming a permanent fixture in the National League.
If democracy has a say, Red Sox president/chief executive officer Larry Lucchino will vote against that change. Lucchino would prefer consistency through both leagues, and in Lucchino's mind, that would be without a DH.
"Rule No. 1 in the baseball rulebook," Lucchino said, "Baseball is a game played by two teams of nine players each. It doesn't say, 'Except for the American League, which is going to play with 10.' It says two teams with nine players each. Rule No. 1. Check it out."
Lucchino's memory of the baseball rulebook is accurate, and his preference for a game without a designated hitter is traditional.
"I've always accepted the notion of a DH in one league and not in the other, because it underscored that we have two different leagues and two different products," Lucchino said. "And it was important that the National League had a certain brand, the American League had a certain brand, and that was a big thing to underscore, to reinforce to the public.
"But now I think those brands will always be there and will always sustain themselves. And if I were to vote on it, had the only vote on it, or wave my proverbial magic wand, I think I would phase out the DH and probably have both leagues without the DH."
Variety of voices will announce at Fenway Park
TORONTO -- The Red Sox will go with a public-address-announcer-by-committee system this season.
Dick Flavin, who spent 20 years in Boston television, will draw the assignment Monday on Opening Day against the Orioles and do most of the day games.
Bob Lobel, a longtime sportscaster in Boston, will do Saturday games.
Henry Mahegan, a former Sox public relations maven and current school teacher, will do the bulk of night games.
A total of 342 people auditioned for the position to replace the late Carl Beane, who died last May.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.