2013 Blue Jays: R. A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes

26 02 2013

There are three things I’ve noticed about R. A. Dickey so far:

  • He’s different from other ballplayers.
  • He’s very much aware that he’s different from other ballplayers (this isn’t a criticism).
  • Wow, his knuckleball really moves. I saw footage of one pitch that changed direction three times and was thrown hard – how can a hitter possibly connect with that?

If you’re interested in finding out more about the knuckleball, you might enjoy Knuckleball!, a documentary about Dickey and Tim Wakefield, who were the only knuckleballers active in the majors in 2011. (Wakefield has since retired, leaving Dickey as the last man standing.) I’m looking forward to watching him pitch for the Jays.

There’s not much to say about Mark Buehrle, other than that he is the most eerily consistent pitcher in the major leagues. He has pitched 200 or more innings every year since 2001, and has won 10 or more games in each of those seasons, including exactly 13 in each of the last four seasons. At some point, his arm will fall off – all pitchers are one pitch away from self-destruction at any time, as pitching is an unnatural act – but it’s reasonable to expect him to do more of the same this year.

For information on Josh Johnson, Rob Pettapiece’s blog comes in handy again – Rob has watched a number of Johnson’s starts this year. In my reading about him, I learned that he developed a new pitch last year, a curveball that he gradually grew to rely on. This might be a good sign: the new league might not have much videotape of him throwing his new pitch.

Everything you need to know about the Miami Marlins can be summarized in the following: apparently, two days before the big trade, the Marlins’ owner told Jose Reyes that he should consider buying a house in the Miami area. Two days!

Reyes fits the Jays’ needs for a shortstop and leadoff man perfectly, as he is both of these things. If he has a good year, Bautista and Encarnacion could accumulate boatloads of runs batted in.

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