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The Progression Of R.A. Dickey's Knuckleball


Days after R.A. Dickey starts will be very Dickey-centric here, as we praise Dickey and celebrate his increasingly universally accepted awesomeness. Over at Baseball Nation, Jeff Sullivan has Dickey Fever, too, and looks at several key attributes of Dickey's knuckler and the evolution thereof over the past four or five years.

In short, his strike rate has increased, his contact rate has decreased, and his ground ball rate has increased, any one of which would have improved Dickey's knuckler incrementally, but on aggregate they've conspired to transform a bad knuckler into an otherworldly one.

Sullivan is also a joy to read on nearly any baseball topic, so it's especially delightful when he ruminates on the glory that is Dickey:

Everybody's familiar with R.A. Dickey now, because he's performing like maybe the best pitcher in baseball, and because his primary pitch is a knuckleball. Very few guys perform like maybe the best pitcher in baseball. Very few guys throw knuckleballs. In the Venn diagram in which the two circles overlap, R.A. Dickey is the emperor and sole citizen of the middle area, which he would probably name something better than Dickeyville. He generates attention.

Go read the rest of his piece at Baseball Nation.