Dickey getting up to speed this spring

DUNEDIN, Fla. — R.A. Dickey is getting up to speed this spring. Dickey made his exhibition debut Thursday, starting for the Toronto Blue Jays and giving up one unearned run in two innings during a 7-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

DUNEDIN, Fla. — R.A. Dickey is getting up to speed this spring.

Dickey made his exhibition debut Thursday, starting for the Toronto Blue Jays and giving up one unearned run in two innings during a 7-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

For the first time out, Dickey said his floater was fine. He walked back-to-back batters in the opening inning, but said there was a reason for that.

“It was moving quite a bit. It was tough to find the zone for a bit because it had such depth late,” he said. “It was a good sign all around, really. They only hit pieces of it. The two hits I gave up were little flares.”

The 39-year-old Dickey is still hoping to duplicate the success he found in 2012 when he won the NL Cy Young Award with the New York Mets. He went 20-6 for a team that finished 74-88, with a 2.73 ERA.

Dickey led the NL with 230 strikeouts and 233 2-3 innings that season, then was traded to Toronto.

In his first year with the Blue Jays, Dickey went 14-13 with a 4.21 ERA. He also pitched for the U.S. team in the World Baseball Classic.

“Last year was a challenge,” he said.

Dickey got off to a slow start last season, hampered by problems with his back and neck. That prevented him from throwing his knuckler as hard as he wanted.

Unlike many knuckleballers over the years who have tossed the ball to the plate, Dickey has found success by throwing it much faster.

“Ideally, at the end of the spring, I’d like to have my comfortable knuckleball at about 76 or 77 and my low one about 75. So I’ve probably got to get about 3 mph on each of the high and low,” he said.

Last spring, Dickey said he found himself glancing at the radar gun reading on the scoreboard “and seeing high 60s and low 70s.”

“I obviously feel better at this point than I did last year, which I’m hoping will carry throughout the spring and into the season,” he said.

Dickey struck out two, both with batters chasing 61 mph knucklers.

“Just playing with the speeds and using that slow knuckleball as a changeup and it had good movement,” he said.

The lone run against Dickey scored on a passed ball by Erik Kratz, who played last season for the Phillies.

Dioner Navarro is likely to be the Blue Jays’ top catcher this season, and Kratz is competing for a backup role.

Trying to catch a knuckleball certainly isn’t easy, and Dickey said he thought Kratz did a good job.

“I call my own game most of the time. If he’s got a gut-feel, it might be two or three times a game that he might want me to stick with him on any given pitch,” he said. “The other 97 pitches, I’m in control of what I want to do. That only leaves him to have to receive the ball and I like it that way.”

Just Posted

Updated: SUV smashes through fences and deck in Anders

Driver taken to hospital after SUV veered off 30th Avenue into Anders

Art on Red Deer billboard a reminder of aboriginal women’s strength

Joane Cardinal-Schubert’s image is part of Resilience Project, shown from coast to coast

Red Deer’s new ‘equity co-ordinator’ will promote tolerance

Andrea Lacoursiere was hired by city with Alberta Human Rights funding

More bridge work this summer in Red Deer’s Coronation Park

The park’s north bridge is being rebuilt to ensure safety

Man badly injured in off-road vehicle collision on Saturday

Incident happened in Mountain View County about 10:50 p.m.

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber falls to Bryce Harper in Home Run Derby final

WASHINGTON — Nationals Park was eerily quiet late Monday when Kyle Schwarber… Continue reading

Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

HONOLULU — An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent… Continue reading

Banff holds blessing ceremony with Indigenous elders before letting bison roam

BANFF, Alta. — Several Indigenous elders were flown by helicopter into the… Continue reading

Research expedition looks at unseen depths of Labrador Sea ecosystem

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Last summer, a team of scientists returned from… Continue reading

Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

REGINA — Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking… Continue reading

British PM accepts key amendments from hardline Brexiteers

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accepted amendments to… Continue reading

‘City of icebergs:’ Study says 100s of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

The statistics in her recently published paper say it all: hundreds of… Continue reading

U.S. hits back with WTO challenge against Canada’s retaliatory tariffs

OTTAWA — The United States fired back Monday at the Canadian government’s… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month