La Russa considering Dickey for start

BY Ken Rosenthal • June 22, 2012

Yes, Tony La Russa is considering Mets right-hander R.A. Dickey to start the All-Star Game.

La Russa, who will manage the National League team, said he was open to the idea even though Dickey’s primary pitch is a knuckleball.

“I’ve given it thought,” said La Russa, the former Cardinals manager who now works for the commissioner’s office.

“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.

“But it’s definitely accurate that he’s getting as much consideration to start that game as any of the other guys.”

Dickey, 11-1 with a 2.00 ERA, has not allowed an earned run in his last 42 2/3 innings. His next start is Sunday night against the Yankees.

The problem with using a knuckleballer in an All-Star Game is finding someone to catch him. Neither of the Mets’ catchers, Josh Thole or Mike Nickeas, will be an All-Star.

The Giants’ Buster Posey currently leads the fan balloting, following by La Russa’s former catcher, the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina.

“If it’s Yadi, I don’t worry about anything with Yadi back there,” La Russa said. “Buster, I think he would handle himself well.

“The other part, though, is when in the game are you going to be completely at ease with him pitching and the catcher catching him?

“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.”

La Russa said he is not surprised by Dickey’s success after watching him pitch against the Cardinals in 2010 and ’11.

“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. “Albert (Pujols) would be one guy. Same with Matt (Holliday).

“He’s very tough to hit. This is no surprise.”

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