After seeing R.A. Dickey throw back-to-back complete games while striking out ten or more batters and allowing one hit or fewer - becoming the only pitcher in baseball's modern era to do so - of course it makes sense for the New York Mets to want to send the soft-tossing knuckleballer to the mound more frequently.
New York Mets manager Terry Collins has been kicking around the idea of pitching Dickey on three-days rest instead of the usual four because a knuckleballer's arm is typically healed up and ready to go much quicker than a fastball pitcher.
"I would be willing to dialogue with them," Dickey said in a Newsday.com report, referring to his openness to pitching on three-days rest instead of four. "I wouldn't say 'yes' immediately. I would talk through what that looks like."
In my view, Dickey's comments are telling of a guy that wants to be a good team player, but it seems pretty clear that he isn't jumping at the chance to do it.
He wants to help the team any way he can. However, his comments, in my estimation, hinted that he would be reluctant to regularly pitch on three-days rest.
I, also, do not think it's a great idea at this point in time. Perhaps the team can revisit the idea down the stretch run in September if the New York Mets are battling for a final wild card berth.
Right now, it's too early to start those discussions. As my father used to say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Dickey has a good thing going right now, and while his arm may be able to make the adjustment to pitch on short rest, you don't want to throw him off his rhythm.
Pitchers are creatures of habit, and the slightest change can throw them out of whack. Dickey has a great feel for the knuckleball right now and he's on a nice little roll, so the Mets should just leave it as-is.
"Maybe we were going to try it for a month to see if it worked," Collins said on June 19, referring to the plan of Dickey pitching on three-days rest. "We just haven't been brave enough to try it yet because I think it just screws up the other guys also."
Collins' assessment is right on the money, as the last thing you want to do is throw Johan Santana and Jon Niese off their games.
In my view, the Mets should scrap the plan to start Dickey on three-days rest and then revisit the idea in September. If the team is still in serious playoff contention, it would make sense to start Dickey more frequently at that time.
If the Mets do make the playoffs, you'd have to give them a great chance in a short series with Santana, Dickey and Niese.
Should R.A. Dickey pitch on three-days' rest? Let me know in the comments.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Mets fan. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/mets/mets-decide-not-to-use-dickey-more-often-1.3793010, Newsday's David Lennon, player quotes/stats
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