Okay, because I'm often accused of being overly negative, I'm going to start off with some good things about the game yesterday...
- Fabio Castro held his own in his major league debut. He wasn't great, but he was okay, good enough to make you think the Rangers can find a way to keep him around all year.
- Ian Kinsler hit his first major league homer, and continues to look like he's a major league second baseman.
- R.A. Dickey's outing was so bad, he's unlikely to stick in the rotation much longer.
Let's recap...the guy has never been a good major league pitcher, was awful in the majors last year, switched to a knuckleball in 2005 to try to salvage his career, had an ERA of 5.99 in AAA, and wasn't very good this spring.
His sticking in the rotation was more a commentary on the lack of other options, and Buck & Co.'s level of pisstivity with Juan Dominguez, than on his own abilities.
Dickey seems deluded about that, though...his money quote after the game:
"I think I've earned the right to be up here and succeed," Dickey said. "I don't think one game will be the judgment of whether or not the knuckleball is good. You're dealing with men in there that have vision and aren't going to hit the panic button."
By all accounts, R.A. Dickey is a great guy, a great teammate, a guy with character and heart. I've never heard a single person say a bad thing about him as a person, and it is his intangibles that have kept him around this long, and that may make him a quality major league pitcher, by putting in the work necessary to master the knuckleball.
But that quote is one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever seen from a major leaguer. R.A. Dickey has not earned the right to stay in the major leagues. He's not a major league caliber pitcher. He's a minor league pitcher who needs to spend at least another season figuring out how to throw the knuckleball.
According to T.R. Sullivan, Dickey could be sent down as early as today, with Rick Bauer set to be recalled from AAA. The Rangers have to decide whether to option Dickey or put Mark DeRosa on the d.l. If DeRosa doesn't go on the d.l., it sounds like the Rangers will bring John Koronka back on three days rest to pitch in what would have been Dickey's next start.
In the DMN, Buck was rather noncommittal about it:
"You are going to see ups and downs with a knuckleball pitcher," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "This was certainly a down. But you just have to see what happens each time out. R.A. has had some good outings for us. We'll sit down and see what we're going to do [about the rotation]."
In the category of "People Who Still Don't Get It," Jennifer Floyd Engel still thinks Adam Eaton is a quality pitcher who will help the Rangers, because he'll come back and be motivated to prove all those who doubt him wrong.
I doubt it.