New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey has pitched well enough in the first half of the season to get the opening nod on Tuesday at the All-Star game. However, NL manager Tony La Russa has a dilemma that might cost Dickey that honor. The retired Cardinals manager has to find a catcher who can handle a knuckleball pitcher. That responsibility might fall on Yadier Molina.
San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey was voted as the NL starting catcher, but he is known more for his offensive abilities and has never caught a knuckleball pitcher. La Russa is consulting with pitcher coach Dave Duncan about moving Dickey down the line of NL pitchers so he can throw to Molina. Tony and Dave obviously trust Molina’s handling of pitchers and his defensive skills.
La Russa told Newsday, “There is an issue about catching him (Dickey) and what spot to use him. His season has gotten everybody’s attention, including our staff’s, and we’re talking about the best way to just win the game with the personnel, and how we use Dickey will be a part of that. That’s been addressed and Dave [Duncan] and I especially have talked quite a bit about it and we have a plan that we hope to implement.”
Dickey pitched a complete game shutout against the Cardinals on June 2, the day after Johan Santana no-hit the Cards the day before. Dickey was the first 12-game winner in the NL and at one point recently, went six of seven starts without allowing an earned run over 55.2 innings.