One starting pitcher that has received a ton of attention this off-season has been Toronto Blue Jays SP R.A. Dickey. Dickey won the 2012 NL Cy Young Award with the New York Mets and is coming off one of the best seasons a knuckleball pitcher has ever seen, but I simply do not trust him this year.
Dickey had an outstanding 2.73 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 2012. He even finished with an amazing 20-6 record. However, Dickey’s numbers the previous year were horrible. He went 8-13 in 2011 and his 1.23 WHIP was almost useless for fantasy baseball owners.
Dickey also severely struggled during the opening game this year. His first outing was against the Cleveland Indians, and the knuckler looked visibly off. Dickey allowed five hits while issuing four walks and the 38-year-old was solely responsible for the 4-1 loss to the Tribe.
He also allowed a very uninspiring four runs (three earned) in his season-opener. Dickey was simply missing his targets and it was evident from the very first pitch of the game. He was throwing balls in the dirt all game and three pitches got away from Toronto catcher, J. P Arencibia. It will be a struggle all year for the catcher to track down the knuckle ball, which will only cause more problems for fantasy owners.
Dickey lasted 104 pitches and finished six innings, but he simply looked like a different pitcher on the bump. He struck out just four batters in six innings, which was a far cry from his 233 K’s in 233.2 innings last year. His numbers from last season were simply too good to be true, so expect him to get a rough wakeup call in Toronto.
Additionally, it will be much tougher facing batters in the American League East, especially since the fireballer will no longer be able to rack up strikeouts against opposing pitchers in the National League. He grew accustomed to facing a pitcher a couple times a game, but he will now have to work for every out. The move to the AL will easily cause his strikeout total this year to stay under 200.
Dickey was drafted within the top-30 fantasy pitchers this off-season, but the uncertainly of his knuckleball will make him a risky start week after week. Dickey will continue to be a hit-or-miss starter, so don’t put too much faith in the one-year wonder.