Sunday, January 30, 2011
Dickey's Deal a Good One
The R. A Dickey is rather incredible really. He was born without a UCL in his arm and really shouldn't be able to turn the knob of a door let alone pitch. He went through all kinds of trials and tribulations and plenty of struggles on the mound. He decided on the advice of The Rangers pitching coach to learn a knuckler. That was five years ago and it didn't exactly work out for him until he came to The Mets.
Dickey was a guy that rode the buses and paid his dues all over the minor league levels. When he was signed to a minor led to plenty of eye rolling. He was brought in for nothing more than depth. He was one of the first cut last Spring training and nobody figured they'd see him at the Mlb level in 2010. He drew some buzz in the minors by giving up a lead off hit and then being perfect the rest of the night in getting 27 outs. Dickey's performance in Buffalo and Perez's performance and Maine and Niese's injuries led to Dickey being called up.
No one could have expected the production the Mets got out of Dickey. I personally expected him to make a couple dozen bad to mediocre starts and get sent back down. Well he was a revelation. He started out 6-0 and besides for a few starts was as consistent as any Met pitcher. He was likely the teams best pitcher. It was incredible to see him do what he was doing. The fact that he had impeccable control(2.2 walks per nine) with a pitch with the knuckler was rather incredible. He also generated a ton of grounders while most knuckle ball guy are fly ball pitchers.
Dickey even out pitched Strasburg over the Summer. He also threw a one hitters vs The Phils. He had a no hitter going that was broken up by Cole Hamels. The Knuckler is tough enough to pick up and throws off hitters big time. Dickey throws off hitters even more by throwing two different knucklers. He throws a hard one the mid to high 70's and a soft one in the low 60's. He also throws a fastball that he throws in the mid 80's that is somewhat serviceable.
There are some that think he's a fluke and turn into a pumpkin again. I think he's for real because he figured out how to control and command the knuckler and throws two of them. I don't think age really matters with a knuckle ball pitcher. I don't think he'll be as great as he was last year but I think he'll be a solid innings eater. He threw 230 innings between the majors and minors last year.
Omar Minaya did very little right after '06 but Dickey was one of his best. What a marveous find and what a pleasure to watch. Omar deserves credit for that find as do the scouts. Aldserson deserves credit for locking him up at a nice price. I am looking forward to seeing him pitch and imo he deserves to start on Opening Day.