With the acquisition of RA Dickey, it gave the Toronto Blue Jays one of the best starting rotations in the American League. I mean, what’s not to love about a rotation that has an innings-eating extraordinaire like Mark Buehrle as their fourth starter? Dickey, who won the 2012 National League Cy Young award with the New York Mets, took the mound for Jays in tonight’s opener. But he was without his personal catcher, Josh Thole, because JP Arencibia, the Jays’ everyday catcher, apparently earned the right to catch Toronto’s new ace. Well, if JP “earned” it, he has given it right back with the three passed balls given to him in the first two innings of play. With the three passed balls thus far, it’s quite obvious he cannot handle the knuckleball, which significantly deflates Dickey’s value.
While the passed balls are egregious and terrible, Arencibia’s framing ability might be even worse. Arencibia would literally catch the ball with a “basket catch”, channeling his inner Willie Mays. Lastly, it’s not like Arencibia’s bat can keep him in the lineup, seeing as his on-base percentage is near the bottom for regulars in the American League.
As the roster stands right now, the Blue Jays inexplicably have eight pitchers in their bullpen, with only three players on their bench. Obviously, once Brett Lawrie returns from the DL, one of those relievers will likely be sent down. But it would probably be a wise idea to send one of those relievers down now, in order to recall Thole to catch Dickey. If Toronto doesn’t use Thole to catch Dickey, Jays fans will be seeing the back of Arencibia’s jersey way, way, WAY too often.