Monday, February 11, 2013

The Case for R.A. Dickey

R.A. Dickey may be the least respected Cy Young winner I have witnessed in my lifetime. People seem to think he will somehow implode due to age, regression, or Tim Wakefield. I expect some regression as he is moving to the AL. However, I do not expect a drastic decline. The following are a few arguments that people make against RA Dickey in 2013 that I try to counter:

1.) The AL East saw Time Wakefield.
  • 3/5 AL East teams that Dickey will pitch against saw Wakefield. And how many of the players actually had ABs vs. Wakefield? Regardless, R.A. Dickey is a different pitcher than Wakefield. His knuckleball averaged 77 MPH last year compared to Wakefield’s 65-67 MPH. Dickey’s FB averaged 83 MPH compared to Wakefield’s 72-75 MPH. Dickey also was more of a ground ball pitcher than Wakefield, which will help him adjust better to the AL East.

2.) Dickey is old at 38.
  • 38 may be old for a pitcher, but his IP is not absurd. In fact, he has thrown nearly 570 innings less than Felix Hernandez and 500 innings less than Justin Verlander. What matters more: age or pitches thrown?
3.) 2012 was a fluke.
  • R.A. Dickey posted sub-3 ERAs in 2/3 seasons with the Mets and never had a WHIP above 1.23. He may have benefited from a higher LOB% (about 5% higher than 2010-11), but his HR/FB% also rose 3%. Dickey had the 12th best xFIP and FIP (3.27). Additionally, unlike the worries Roy Halladay or Tim Lincecum face, Dickey threw his go to pitch faster than ever before and may be just entering his peak.
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