Mets(courtesy of mlb.com)
R.A. Dickey has seen his career bounce from the starting rotation to the bullpen and back. He’s gone from Texas to Milwaukee to Seattle to Minnesota since 2006, and last spring, he found himself with the Mets as a non-roster invitee.
With all of that unpredictable movement, it should come as no surprise that pitch that saved the former fastballer’s career is a knuckler.
Why wouldn’t it be?
Dickey’s unconventional ride will continue Wednesday against Livan Hernandez and the Nationals as the right-hander is expected to get called up from Triple-A before the game for the start. The Mets have not announced a corresponding move.
Mets manager Jerry Manuel doesn’t know what to expect. He has never managed a knuckleball pitcher, but will start Henry Blanco behind the plate. Blanco caught Dickey a few times during Spring Training.
“I have no idea when he’s got it, when he doesn’t have it,” he said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I have no idea.”
Dickey has been successful lately. In eight starts for Triple-A Buffalo, he went 4-2 with a 2.33 ERA, including a complete-game one-hitter in late April. In his most recent Minor League start, Dickey gave up three hits in eight innings.
Moreover, he will be making his first start since last August, and has not faced the Nationals since June 2008.
The Mets are considering sending prized starting pitching prospect Jenrry Mejia back to the Minors, though nothing is imminent. … Catcher Rod Barajas was a late scratch from Tuesday’s Mets lineup with a stomach virus and will get an extra day off Wednesday because Blanco is expected to get the start. … Steven Matz, the Mets’ top selection in last June’s First-Year Player Draft, underwent Tommy John surgery Tuesday. … Jason Bay was out of the lineup on Tuesday, despite his 11-game hitting streak. It is Bay’s longest such streak since 2006.
Jose Reyes, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Jason Bay, LF
Ike Davis, 1B(sniff, sniff…they grow up so fast…)
Angel Pagan, CF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Henry Blanco, C
R.A. Dickey, RHP
Nationals(courtesy of mlb.com)
Hernandez, who is pitching on three days’ rest, and the Nationals will be ready. Despite a five-game losing streak, the club remains in the middle of the pack in the National League East.
“I think the attitude is great. Our players kind of shower the loss off just like you shower a win off and go get them the next day,” Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said. “I don’t think when we were winning seven out of eight — or 10, or whatever it was — nobody was getting ahead of themselves, and when we’ve lost a few here, nobody is hanging their head. It’s a good professional group that has played a lot of baseball and been through a lot of winning streaks and losing streaks in their careers, and realize it’s a long season and you just have to toe it up every night and try to win the one game.”
The Nationals were thinking about calling up a Minor Leaguer for Wednesday, but after throwing 100 pitches in the first game of a day-night doubleheader against the Rockies last weekend, Hernandez went to Riggleman’s office and volunteered to take the ball. He was originally scheduled to start last Friday against Colorado, but the game was postponed because of rain, and he pitched Saturday instead.
Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn was not in the starting lineup for the third consecutive day on Tuesday because of flu-like symptoms and returned to Washington. It is unclear when he will return to the field. “He went back there and he’s not feeling well, and he’s having a minor procedure done that’s of no significance,” Riggleman said. “It’s not really a factor for playing time or anything like that. We just think he’ll be ready [Wednesday].”
Nyjer Morgan, CF
Christian Guzman, 2B
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
Adam Dunn, 1B
Josh Willingham, LF
Roger Bernadina, RF
Ian Desmond, SS
Livan Hernandez, RHP