2013 Toronto Blue Jays Reviews: R.A. Dickey


Aug 11, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) delivers a pitch against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Name: R.A. Dickey

Position: Starting Pitcher


2013 Expectations

R.A. Dickey himself was one big expectation coming over to the Blue Jays in the deal that cost us a good talented portion of our future in Noah Syndergaard and Travis D’Arnaud. It is true that to get a Cy Young winner you have to give up some credible talent. With Dickey he found a knuckleball and success later in his career. Before then he was just your average pitcher who was touring around the fields of Seattle and Texas in hopes of landing a permanent gig. A tirelessly hard worker, Dickey reinvented himself and became what some consider the first hard knuckler in the majors. A knuckleball that he could control at varying speeds? No wonder 230 NL batsmen were sent packing at the plate. No one had seen anything like it before.

His success with the Mets had baseball lauding him as a late bloomer who has proven over a few years that he could be a dominant number one starter which is what the Blue jays were desperately lacking in their starting rotation. When the trade came down and we started to get to know the man behind the pitcher, the expectation grew even more…to the point that some began to wonder if he could live up to the advance billing. 240 innings pitched, ERA around two and a half, 200 strikeouts. That was pretty much the expectation. Unfortunately when April rolled around Dickey ensured he would finish the year nowhere near reaching the height of all the preamble. It would prove to be a very tough year for R.A..

2013 Transactions

No transactions of note. Dickey made all of his starts. He claimed injury to his back and shoulder but never took it to the disabled list. Whether that was wise is unclear. Did we have anyone better at the time? Not really, no.

2013 Production

Up and down season doesn’t even begin to describe the season Dickey had. For the first two months, the trade looked to be a complete waste of young talent. With an April ERA of 4.50 and a May ERA of 5.82 many wondered if Dickey had lost it. An apparent back injury and shoulder tightness was deemed the reason and as the season went on it seemed to heal and Dickey began to show flashes of the Cy Young winner that he was. His hits allowed and BAA against weren’t horrid but Dickey was giving up a lot of homeruns. It is something he struggled with all year but the difference was he seemed to take the Jack Morris approach and pitched to score. His injuries healed and the second half showed he was a much better pitcher. His WHIP evened out to about 1.2 and his K:BB ratio fell to numbers similar to his 2012 season.

His production overall was pretty much the same as Mark Buehrle. They gave the team innings and a chance to win but the Blue Jays didn’t need that. They needed a number one and the supposed proven ace showed more like a three. He may have been a leader on the team in the clubhouse but his on field product was definitely, at least at this point, sub par from what the expectations were. Syndergaard has become the star pitcher of the Mets minor league system and D’Arnuad is in the majors to stay. Was the package given up worth the price? That will hinge on how fully developed Syndergaard becomes. If he becomes an ace the Jays just sold a lot of their future for 3 years of declining Dickey.

2014 Outlook

Dickey finished off 2013 on a great note and, barring injury, he will be the de facto number one for 2014. He has the pitch that could keep him around for a few years but when your number one is a trick ball type pitcher that doesn’t say much for the rest of the rotation. Dickey will be counted on for innings, leadership and intangibles. Unfortunately our number three is disguised as a number one. Alex Anthopoulos has gone all in with this commitment. Here’s hoping Dickey squeezes every ounce of talent to lead the Blue Jays towards the playoffs next year. If he regresses it could be a very long season….again.