Jul 5, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) in the dugout against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
If you asked me in May I would have said the 12 million team option should not be picked up. That money could be used on the free agent market to bring in a mid tier arm. But now, how can AA not pick that up? R.A. Dickey has really turned his season around and showing flashes of his Cy Young season. In fact, each month he has got stronger and stronger. The timing could not have been more perfect. With the Blue Jays now sitting on top of the AL East they will need his surge to continue.
Monthly Stats courtesy of MLB.com.
As you can see his number for each month have gotten stronger. His April and May were worrisome. Dickey was not the only pitcher struggling at the start of the year though. Most of the rotation and bullpen were having their issues. It was very telling in June when I attended one of his starts and the entire crowd around me was boisterous in their anti-Dickey sentiment. Despite coming off of a strong outing and throwing a no decision that day (which turned into a win in the bottom of the 9th) nobody seemed to have bought in yet. Today I feel like a majority have bought in.
Game Log courtesy of Yahoo Sports.
That is his game log since June. After a good start June 2nd he lowered his ERA to 5.53. That speaks volumes on how bad his April and May were. Looking at his games you can see he mostly can pitch 6 innings. Only twice did he pitch less. The start in early June he was on a shorter leash and only hit 5.2 innings. The other time was July 4th against Detroit. That was clearly not a good game. There is something to be said about someone who eats innings like this. You want someone who can give you 200 quality innings, not just innings. Someone who keeps you in ball games and can turn a game over to the bullpen with a chance to win everyday. That’s what Dickey has been doing. You can count them up. He has put up 12 quality starts in his last 14 outings. Heck, over the last 30 days Dickey has been in the mix with the top pitchers in all of MLB.
Last 30 Days Stats Courtesy of MLB.com.
Those are the innings pitched leaders over the last 30 days. Dickey is only 2 outs off of leading of the pack. That is an impressive list to be on. Not just for the work horse numbers but also the flashy numbers. He is holding the 3rd best ERA behind only Matt Harvey and Clayton Kershaw. Dickey has not only kept the runs down but also limiting the hits and walks he gives up. Also impressively only giving up 2 home runs. That is quite the feat for Dickey who has been prone to the long ball.
His turn around has been well timed. The Blue Jays lead in the AL East is a small one. They will need to keep up the pitching they have received in order to hold on to that lead. Depending on how the next 6 weeks go the Jays could have the hottest rotation doing into the play offs. As it stands I feel very comfortable with David Price, Mark Buehrle, Marco Estrada, and R.A. Dickey as the playoff rotation.
If you asked me in May about Dickey’s option I would have said it’s an expensive 12 million. If you ask me today I will say it’s a cheap 12 million.