The Toronto Blue Jays made the assumption that they had acquired a pitcher that would round out the top of their revamped pitching rotation when they brought in R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets. The knuckleballer was going to add stability to a rotation that had been giving up far too many walks and runs even when they were getting great overall run support for the past few seasons. Although Dickey is finishing off his 2013 campaign on a relatively positive note, he struggled at the beginning and into the All-Star break. Dickey has put that behind him and now looks to start the 2014 season with the consistency that he seems to have found as of late.
Pre-All-Star break, Dickey was struggling mightily and was starting to prove his naysayers right in regards to who won the trade between the Blue Jays and the Mets. At the break his ERA stood at 4.65 while issuing 47 BB. There were a lot of people that thought Dickey had a one and done Cy Young season and that the Blue Jays were giving up far too much in top prospect Travis d’Arnaud when they made the move to acquire the pitcher. During his first few months as a Blue Jay, Dickey wasn’t putting up an argument to say otherwise.
Since then, Dickey has improved as he has brought his ERA down to 4.27 and has only walked 23 batters since the break bringing his total to 70 BB on the season. Pair that with 174 strikeouts and 13 wins and the season looks respectable, but definitely not good enough on Dickey’s terms or for the Blue Jays for that matter.
In order for both Dickey and the Blue Jays to improve, Dickey needs to cut down on his walks right from the get go and stay away from giving up so many home runs, especially after he gives someone a free pass. Dickey has given up 33 home runs this season and has let way too many games get out of hand right from the start. He has to find a way to find that magic he had with the Mets in 2012 and bring it to Toronto or else the 2014 edition of the Blue Jays will be very much the same to that of 2013.
Striking out eight or more batters in a game is a stat that Dickey often enjoys, but if he continues to give up 4-6 runs each outing his offense is going to find it very hard to put up the numbers to better the amount that are coming in. He needs to dig deep this offseason and figure something out or the 38-year old’s career will surely fade fast.