San Francisco Giants v Toronto Blue Jays

Dickey Face!

Well now here’s some nonsense.

With key starters Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez hurting, the Baltimore Orioles, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, seem to have taken the opportunity to notice out that they can’t keep winning games on smoke, mirrors, a decent lineup and a ridiculous bullpen forever– right? RIGHT????– and could probably use finding some kind of top-of-the-rotation help.

This seems a simple enough observation, but getting there is going to be another matter for the O’s, especially since Heyman informs us that GM Jim Duquette has apparently been “telling teams that top Orioles pitching prospects Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy are absolutely and understandably untouchable.”

Uh… yeah… pretty sure the O’s conversation about any team’s ace-calibre pitcher that doesn’t start with either Gausman or Bundy is going to go over like a Jon Heyman-shaped lead balloon, but why the hell should that stop anyone from indulging ridiculously in speculation, eh?

Heyman writes:

The Orioles, according to sources, showed considerable interest in Dickey last winter. But while he’s off to a rough start in Toronto, the Jays have him on a reasonable three-year deal for $30 million, so he may not be available.

May not!

The Jays may not trade, to a division fucking rival, the guy they gave up a top twenty and top 100 prospect to land, and who has played all of six weeks for them so far.

They may not entertain giving up last year’s NL Cy Young winner, who makes less this year, and only $4.5-million more in each of the next two years than Ricky Romero.

They may not, despite the “rough start,” cut bait on a guy who was dealing with neck and back soreness for much of the early part of the season, and who pitched one of his best games of the year last night after declaring himself to be back at 100%.

May not!

And, indeed, while Dickey still maybe didn’t quite look the part of the guy who was so thoroughly dominant last year with the Mets, everything seemed to be trending in the right direction. According to the Pitch F/X data at Brooks Baseball for last night’s start, Dickey’s knuckleball maxed out at 80.59 mph, as compared to 78.86 in his previous start, and his best fastball was a tick faster as well. Granted, the velocity numbers look similar to his May 4th start against the Mariners, in which he was shelled, but perhaps more importantly, against the Giants, Dickey was better able to throw strikes.

Last night 65% of Dickey’s knuckleballs went for strikes. He generated 15 whiffs, and 51 “strikes not in play”.

On the 4th it was just 54% of knucklers for strikes, with 9 whiffs and 32 SNiPs, while the previous start in Tampa was 59%, 13 and 39.

There also seemed to be a slight change in Dickey’s release point between the Tampa start and last night’s, as we see in this GIF:

Following last week’s start, Dickey acknowledged– as had been written about a few times over the course of his back/neck injury– that the release point was something of an issue.

From John Lott of the National Post:

Meanwhile, Dickey acknowledged that he continues to seek a consistent release point and may still be feeling the after-effects of the neck and upper-back spasms that hampered him in recent weeks.

“There might be some weaknesses because I haven’t been able to do my in-between start routine and get in the weight room like I’d like to,” he said. “There may be some residual weakness which is manifested in lower velocities but for the most part I feel pretty good. [Trainer] George Poulis has had his hands full with this team but he’s done a heck of a job getting me ready.”

The strike zone plot looked less scattered last night, as well:

vs. Tampa

vs. San Francisco

I don’t know if it means anything, to be honest, but the result was certainly there for Dickey last night, and there are some signs that he actually took a step in the right direction. Good news for the Orioles, huh? Jonathan Schoop, here we come!

Comments (46)

  1. Good luck getting that top of the rotation guy for anything less that a Gausman / Bundy Orioles.

    May not!

  2. I may not have thought Heyman was trolling

  3. No Gausman or Bundy? You can have Buerhle. Maybe.

  4. I can’t see them offering more for Dickey than we gave up to get him.

    I’d be curious to see what they’d offer for Johnson or Buerhle though…..if they’d be interested.

    • I’m not sure about that – we proceeded to sign him to a very team-friendly extension.

      I’d say he’s worth more now.

      But it doesn’t matter – this isn’t going to happen.

  5. Gotta leave the door open on a team essentially trading an elite catching prospect and a top 100 starter for a couple of months of Dickey and the dregs of the O’s farm system. Oriole magic, baby.

  6. This recurring pic of Dickey , with that “killer bear” facial expression, is reason enough to frequent this website.

  7. Bundy Gausman and ummm Wieters for Dickey and JPA? Done? Done.

  8. Sometimes this shit just gets out of hand.
    An increase in velocity of 1.73 MPH for a knuckleball is something that is supposedly significant?
    Is there any common sense left?
    Dickey throws the knuckler at all speeds,all of them slow.
    It’s the movement that makes it effective and the CHANGE in speeds, not the max.velocity.

    • For fuck sakes, buy a clue.

      • Enlighten me, Stoeten.
        Dickey’s improving as shown by his increase in velocity?
        I’m buying the clue,I’ll mail you the 5 bucks.

        • First of all, it’s the speed of his knuckler that made him an ace and Cy Young winner.

          Second of all, speed on its own isn’t necessarily the point. It’s that speed indicates his arm and back are not troubling him and indicates he is “on”.

          And don’t dismiss 80mph. That’s my “fastball” and people think I have a crazy good arm. To throw a knuckleball that fast is… unprecedented.

        • Nasty movement + less reaction time for hitter = more effective.

    • I wouldn’t discredit it, if for the mere fact that it shows that he was pitching more like he did last year.

      • Not that this is the end all, but I know when a reporter interviewed Phil Niekro about Dickey’s knuckler the main thing he commented on was how fast he could throw it. The velocity is a huge part of Dickey’s effectiveness as a knuckler not just the obvious movement.

    • His knuck dances the most when it’s thrown with good velocity. Actually, this applies to a lot of breaking pitches. You can get some real nasty late movement on breaking stuff thrown at a high velocity.

    • Some info on Dickey & velocity and how it matters with regards to his effectiveness:

  9. [Trainer] George Poulis has had his hands full with this team but he’s done a heck of a job getting me ready.”

    Interesting point that I’ve been pondering lately – would it be worth hiring a more robust and complementary ‘head training’ staff to go along with the existing group? It seems workouts and therapies in baseball are very individual-specific. This means both that what works for one, doesn’t work for others, and that different players take advantage of training support and therapy to different degrees.

    I wonder if there wouldn’t be some competitive edge to be had to providing more options, more training in-house, and requiring some treatments after each game (e.g., hamstrings for those playing on tough turf). All this, of course, would require a heavy investment in training staff, a cost which would pale in comparison to the cost of days lost to the DL.

    Just a thought. Would be interesting to see a side-by-side comparison of what different clubs invest in training and support, and across sports as well.

    • Interesting thought Samir…I’d be on board with this approach, in lieu of my previous thought of dumping the organization’s entire training staff. Rogers has put a lot of money into the “peripherals” of the team (more scouting, larger international free agent expenditures, etc.). This would be a next logical step, imho.

  10. Jeremy Jeffress headed to Buffalo according to his twitter.

  11. Buehrle and Romero for a bag of baseballs.

  12. Did you just ignore the fact that you quoted a player acknowledging the incredible job the training staff is already doing?

    I think it would be interesting to see the dollar spend on training staff + number of staff etc.

    But It sounds like you’re discrediting the jays trainers.

  13. Mentally, I’m telling myself that we’re pretty much done with all these injuries (and ensuing starts made by fringe pitchers) coupled with the games behind. I expect a good second half, but too little too late.

    I’d be a little upset if key starting players got traded prior to the end of May though. 6-7 so far, with many divisional opponents coming up. If they get to within 5 GB by the end of the month, and manage to get even closer over the course of June – anything can happen with those 2 WC spots.

    • Nobody’s going anywhere yet. The jays have had pretty much the worst start you can imagine and they’re only 6.5 games out of a wild card spot right now. Let’s re-evaluate at the end of June before selling off any assets.

  14. Bundy is an absolute stud. He’s not going anywhere in the division either.

  15. I can’t stand John Heyman. Likes to start shit. Was making a big deal about the Melky “LIAR” thing, said he “believes Bochy’. Like whaoooo, let’s pick sides like it highschool all over again. I am not on your side John.. Now this “may not” be available crap.. Like he fucking knows.

    • He also called out the Jays for talking “crap” about Buckholz (interesting video evidence at the least), yet happily promoted the man-in-white horseshit (complete absence of evidence)

  16. Can we not all agree that a concerted effort not to talk about Heyman or click on anything he writes, would be helpful to the world as a whole? I refuse to read anymore Heyman pieces. Last thing I read from Heyman he was still at SI and I am done with him.

  17. Dickey+Janssen+Lawrie for Machado…do it. Do it.

  18. Everyone is available for the right price……

    I think that come the deadline the Jays will be near or at the top of the division, so no trade would be needed…….

    Remember…… and so few mention this……for all the money AA committed to these players……THERE IS NOT A SINGLE “NO TRADE” ON THIS TEAM.

  19. The real question is, why would AA go and cut his own balls off just to help out the Oriels, do they have anyone we want other than Jones and weiters? Bundy and Gausman?

  20. CBS trolling for Jays fan views. Weak.

    And fuck the Orioles.

  21. I may not boo opposition pick off attempts tonite

  22. Let’s trade Dickey to the O’s for all the crack in Baltimore; then we can sell the crack back to them at a profit.

    Mayyyyyyyyybe. Not. May not. Maynot. MayYyyy!

  23. I had an idea that Bundy was some kind of superman with his extreme exercise and diet programme. now with this elbow stiffness though I’m not so sure.

  24. [...] The underline there is mine…but COME ON. He may not be available? I would love to rip apart this column a little more but Old Reliable himself Andrew Stoeten did a fine job of that over at DJF. [...]

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