Blue Jays notes on R.A. Dickey’s velocity, Aaron Sanchez hilarity
The Blue Jays’ knuckleballer is working within his full range of velocities this spring while opposing scouts struggle (bluntly) with the Sanchez decision
It’s a quiet afternoon on the spring training front as the Toronto Blue Jays have a 6:35 ET start against the Philadelphia Phillies. Marco Estrada is expected to make the start against 26-year-old left-hander Adam Morgan.
Though as George Bluth would suggest, “there’s always money in the banana stand”. And there’s always news in the Blue Jays rotation.
R.A. Dickey‘s velocity
The veteran throws several different breeds of knuckleball, and when he was in his Cy Young form with the New York Mets, all were clicking in high gear.
Essentially, Dickey’s objective is to use a similar arm speed to throw knuckleballs of drastically different velocities. This further confused hitters facing the already-unpredictable pitch, and as Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports, he’s progressing very well this spring.
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“My arm speed was still good on the slow one,” Dickey said, “and I was able to generate enough arm-speed that they could not tell it was going to be a 63 instead of a 77 and 78 and that worked to my advantage. I probably could have done it four or five more times, but I just didn’t want to overexpose it at this point. I knew it was where I wanted it to be, so there was no use going to it too much.”
He’s not the sexy pick, but I still love Dickey’s chances of surprising Toronto fans with his value this year. Manager John Gibbons is liking what he sees, too.
“This is probably the best I’ve seen him in spring training in the four years,” he said.
More outside love for Aaron Sanchez
One of the more interesting angles on the camp battle between Sanchez and Gavin Floyd has been the amount of support the younger Sanchez has gotten from scouts and unnamed executives outside of the organization.
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Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun spoke with two scouts after Sanchez’s most recent start (one an N.L. scout, the other described as “seasoned”), and their take on the situation was refreshingly frank.
“If they have five guys better than Aaron Sanchez and he does not fit their rotation, they are going to win 150 games,” the N.L. scout told Elliot.
Beautiful. The other scout took it a step further.
“Sanchez is their best starter right now, not the best No. 5 candidate, but No. 1 and that includes Marcus Stroman,” he told Elliot. “But despite all that, there is this strong Gavin Floyd undercurrent floating around here.”