Re: age. Does the fact Dickey actually throw pretty hard for a knuckleballer cause you any concern? I mean, say he throws the thing at 85 instead of 87 mph….
Comment by Rufus T. Firefly — December 10, 2012 @ 10:27 am
I keep hearing that age doesn’t effect knuckleballers like other pitchers, but we also hear that Dickey isn’t like other knuckleballers in part because of an unprecedented “fast knuckler.” I understand that this is all venturing into the unknown, but is there any concern that Dickey’s age could have some effect on his fast knuckleball velocity? Or has this difference between his knuckleballs been overstated?
That’s a question I’m not sure anyone can answer. There’s basically no precedent for it. I’m encouraged overall by the strides he made last year, but it’s unclear how much his velocity helps in this case. Most pitchers can get by with a slower knuckleball, so losing some velocity might not matter as much. Honestly, though, it’s nearly impossible to give a definitive answer here.
Comment by Chris Cwik — December 10, 2012 @ 10:39 am
I appreciate the concept that age doesn’t play the same role for Dickey as it does for other pitchers, but it most certainly is a factor. The man is 37 years old – a senior citizen by professional athlete standards. And as Rags stated, he throws a fastball version of his knuckler (in addition to mixing in a standard fastball). He may not have the velocity of other pitchers, but the relative affect on his arm is the same. When you throw as hard as you can while maintaining control, it wears your body out over time.
And don’t forget – Dickey may have only achieved prominence in recent years, but he’s been playing baseball and pitching just as long as his peers. Wear and tear doesn’t care about performance.
As a Mets fan, I love Dickey and what he’s accomplished. I think he’s definitely got repeat potential, but it would be foolish to think that at 37, he should get the same contract a 28-year-old version of himself would get.
Yeah he’s an avoid for me next year. He’ll be drafted as an ace #1 starter, and with that, you have to aim for reliability. He could well excel again next year, but there are just too many questions surrounding him for me to draft him as my first SP.
Comment by SteveJobs — December 10, 2012 @ 12:22 pm
Another X-Factor: Dickey’s lack of a UCL. How does that come into play in terms of his longevity (or lack thereof)?
How come no mention of Hoyt Wilhelm. NY Giants great knuckleballer ?
Yes kids there was three teams in NY once upon a time long long ago.
Comment by Jeff Joseph — December 11, 2012 @ 9:49 pm
There’s too much junk and games in the article
“Most pitchers who throw the knuckleball typically age very well, pitching well into their 40s.”
Except, they don’t. ‘Well into ones 40s’ mean something like 44, 45, 46. Knuckleballers don’t do that, as a class. Chris also elides into the fatuous ‘150 inning’ standard late in the article. Effectiveness no longer matters, it’s only modest durability at issue when there’s a point to flog.
Comment by Jack Strawb — December 12, 2012 @ 9:34 pm