As a Yankee fan surrounded by Met fans, I remember joking with my friends that R.A. Dickey would be the next Cy Young contender out of Queens. I also remember the day Dickey was called up, and thinking how desperate the Mets must be to call up a 35 year old knuckleballer. Aside from his personal health battles, Dickey was always a guy I’d go out of my way to watch. If I didn’t have Yankee blood running through my veins, maybe my knuckleball fix would have been satisfied by Tim Wakefield. Alas, watching Dickey work brings my mind to the core of pitching, it makes me forget that I’m watching a Met game, and reminds me that baseball is a game of physics. Spotting a knuckleball move is one of the best parts of baseball, and I can’t wait to see how the Yankees approach Dickey on Sunday.
Through the 2012 season, Dickey has an 11-1 record, a 2.00 ERA, a 2.72 FIP, 6.1 H/9, 1.9 HR/9, and a 9.4 K/9. In the last four games, Dickey has pitched 3 complete game shutouts, 2 of which were 1 hitters. In his last 48.2 innings, Dickey has a 0.18 ERA, a 3.88 H/9, a 0.92 BB/9, and a 11.65 K/9. Needless to say, Dickey has been the best starter in baseball this year, and at 37 years old, it’s hard not to root for him. PITCHf/x and TexasLeaguers.com have the data.
|Pitch||Count||Selection||Velocity||V Mvt||H Mvt||Spin Angle||Spin Rate||Whiff Rate|
Starting with the sinker, you’ll see that Dickey isn’t overpowering anyone with his velocity. As a pitcher that specializes in deceiving hitters, the sinker is usually the straightest pitch he throws, but according to Brooks Baseball’s player card, he’s still maintained a 6.16% ground ball rate. The drawback on this pitch is a 4.11% line drive rate, which shows one of the few vulnerabilities in his repertoire . His least used pitch is the forkball, which is classified by Gameday as a curveball. The pitch is generally released from a higher release point, at a slower velocity, and with vertical movement similar to a splitter, but horizontal movement similar to a curveball from a lefthander. As for the knuckleball, the velocity of 77 mph velocity is quite high, and likely a big part of the high whiff rate. Understanding the movement of a knuckleball can’t be done with averages, and the best way to see the effectiveness of his knuckleball is to look at a spread chart.
The knuckleball has a tremendous range of movement, ranging around a foot area of the no-spin pitch origin. The unpredictable movement from the knuckleball accounts for the inability of the hitter to make proper contact with the pitch. The fact that Dickey’s been so successful preventing walks this season is certainly an anomaly amongst these types of pitchers, and some have even speculated that he has more control of the pitch than we’ve seen in the past. Perhaps the velocity on the pitch, coupled with a greater spin rate, makes the Dickey more accurate than guys like Wakefield. Through the knuckleball, he’s kept walks down and K’s up, sporting a 9.4 K/9 that ranks 6th in the National League.
The Yankees get to face RA Dickey and his knuckleball on Sunday, and it’ll be one of the most anticipated match ups of the year. The game starts at 8:00 pm EST Sunday on ESPN.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- related web site on The Great Subway Race
- get your lover back on Contact Us
- Dorothy Silvan on Pineda’s Torn Labrum, or Does the lemon law apply to baseball?
- tao of badass on Open Thread | Game 3 | Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees | Sunday, April 3, 2011
- tube launch review on Why Has Attendance Fallen Year-To-Year?
- Evon Znidarsic on Teixeira MRI Update, Babe Ruth Pitching In Pinstripes, And Jeter’s Gift Baskets
- Sacramento PC Repair on Yanks finally sign non-Yankee free agent in Russell Martin
- Multitech-Info.Com.pl on Open Thread | Game 3 | Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees | Sunday, April 3, 2011
- adult toys for women glass on Ladies and Gents, we now have a formula for winning in October
- monster beats tour on Midseason Prospect Rankings
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees