Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey has lost 12 pounds this offseason and is back to full health following a procedure on his right knee
In 2016, the Toronto Blue Jays will be hoping that less is more with R.A. Dickey.
The 41-year-old has lost weight over the winter (which is reportedly possible) and arrived for camp feeling fully healthy after a previously-undisclosed torn meniscus in his right knee hampered him throughout nearly all of 2015.
Dickey tells Melissa Cuoto of CBC Sports that the injury to his right knee actually occurred four or five starts in to the season.
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“If I could keep going, I wanted to keep going,” Dickey told Cuoto. “But it got to the point where we needed to figure out what it was so we could take care of it. When you get older you don’t really want to know all the maladies in your body. You just want to compete. That’s what I wanted to do.”
He managed to pitch out the remainder of the year without letting on the state of his knee, however, enjoying one of the stronger second halves in the American League. Now fully recovered from surgery, which was done by a doctor with the Tennessee Titans, Dickey is ready to chew through quality innings again for the Blue Jays.
After hearing the extent of his 2015 injury, though, and the weight he has lost over the offseason to get himself in peak shape, there’s further reason for optimism in the coming summer.
“There were days where I’d come in after a start and my knee would be the size of your head,” Dickey said. “I would be like: ‘Well, we gotta get that out of there someway’ and [Blue Jays head athletic trainer] George Poulis was able to do it.”
Dickey also tells Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun that this weight loss could help him reel in his control, which was off the rails in the first half of last season before correcting down the stretch.
This increased control would also allow for Dickey to vary his speeds more often, as we often hear him reference the “hard” knuckleball that has brought him success dating back to his Cy Young season with the New York Mets.