R.A. Dickey - Tom Szczerbowski
Give us your guess on R.A. Dickey's 2013 stats.
After reading his book, watching his press conference and seeing the gifs in this post from Amazin' Avenue talking about the top 5 Mets pitches of 2012 (the surprising thing to me is Dickey's change-up gets an honorable mention), I have a feeling that Brandon Morrow might have competition in the 'my favorite starter to watch' category.
I always figured, if I ran a team, I'd want a couple of guys in the system to learn the knuckleball. I see now that it takes a long time to learn to throw well. You'd have to find the right guy, someone that would be willing to keep at it and at it, even when it doesn't seem to be working. Guys like that would be few and far between. I don't think you could manufacture someone like R.A..
His stats for the last three years:
The thing that stands out is the jump in strikeouts. There is a question on whether he will keep that up, if it was caused by the progression of learning the knuckleball or if it was some one year fluke. His BABIP has been very consistent, over those three seasons, .276, .278, .275, with or without all the strikeouts, he's been very good.
Not surprisingly, his FIP improved by a fair bit with the increase in strikeouts, 3.27 last year, 3.77 the year before. His splits are fairly even, .608 OPS vs. RHB, .677 vs. LHB.
Anyway, Bill James figures R.A. to go 16-8, with a 3.58 ERA, in 34 starts, 226 innings and 152 strikeouts. So Bill figures the strikeout rate will drop to something closer to what he did before last season. I guess since he won't be facing pitchers his strike rate ought to drop some.
It seems that if Dickey could win 20 games with the below average offense the Mets have, that he should win 25 with the Jays but let's not go too nuts. I'll guess 15-7, 32 starts, 200 innings, 180 strikeouts.