Dunedin, FL, Canada (4E Sports) – R.A. Dickey said that he is regaining the high velocity of his knuckleball, which fell in velocity in his first couple of months with the Toronto Blue Jays last year.
This was due to an upper back and neck injury, which changed his release point and brought his knuckleball down to the high 60s and low 70s around this time last year.
It was at 77-78 mph during his 2012 National League Cy Young Award-winning year with the Mets,
The good news is that he topped out at 75 mph during his first start of the spring Thursday.
The velocity is expected to trend upwards as Dickey gets deeper into Spring Training.
“Ideally, towards the end of the spring, I like to have my comfortable knuckleball around 76 or 77 and my low one around 75,” Dickey said. “I want my fastball to be anywhere from 83-86, right in there.”
Dickey is also working on improving his ability to throw strikes on a consistent basis.
From 2010-12 with the Mets, he never averaged more than 2.3 walks per nine innings, but last season, that rate rose to 2.9.
One thing that makes the adjustments a bit easier this time around is that he doesn’t have the added stress of needing to prepare for the World Baseball Classic. One year ago, Dickey had to rush through the various stages of spring so that he could be ready to pitch for Team USA.