Report: Dickey a contender for All-Star start
Tony La Russa, who will manage the NL squad on July 10, still has plenty of time to make a definitive decision regarding his starting pitcher, but said Friday that Dickey is gaining serious consideration.
“I think Dunc (former Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan) and I found over the years that you really need to get close to the day (of the game) to see where each of the candidates line up. We’re not there yet,” La Russa told Rosenthal in an exclusive interview. “But it’s definitely accurate that he (Dickey) is getting as much consideration to start that game as any of the other guys.”
Dickey, whose predominant pitch is the knuckleball, presents La Russa with the conflict of finding a catcher that can handle the pitch - but that conflict might actually work in Dickey’s favor.
“When in the game are you going to be completely at ease with him pitching and the catcher catching him?” La Russa told Rosenthal. "Later in the game, you may have more concerns. If there is a problem and it happens in the last half of the game, you’ve got less game to make up for it. You’ve got to trust the skill of the All-Stars. I think we’ll be fine.”
Right now, fan voting for the All-Star Game has San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey on track to start behind the plate for the senior circuit, with the St. Louis Cardinals’ Yadier Molina second in balloting.
Dickey is currently 11-1 with a 2.00 ERA, and pitched his second straight complete game one-hitter on June 18 against the Baltimore Orioles. La Russa saw Dickey pitch against the Cardinals in 2010 and 2011, and told Rosenthal he isn’t the least bit surprised by the knuckleballer’s recent success.
“Over the last couple of years, even going back to spring training, when he would pitch, that would be the day a couple of our better guys wouldn’t play,” La Russa said. “He’s very tough to hit. This is no surprise.”
Dickey's next start will come in the Mets’ series finale against the New York Yankees on Sunday night.