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Sep 17, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) throws a pitch during the first inning against the New York Yankees at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays name R.A. Dickey as Opening Day starter

Barring a free agent acquisition that never happened, there wasn’t really a question as to who was going to be on the hill Opening Day for John Gibbons’ club.

Robert Allen Dickey will toe the rubber on March 31st against the Tampa Bay Rays, says Shi Davidi of SportsNet Canada. The 39-year-old knuckleballer is entering the first year of the contract extension he signed after being traded to the Blue Jays after the 2012 season.

2012 had been a special year for Dickey. He experienced a renaissance of sorts, winning a career-high 20 games with a 2.73 ERA, pitching five complete games that included three shutouts and struck out 230 batters. In his 10th season of play, he earned an All-Star game roster spot and won a Cy Young award.

Expectations were high when Dickey was traded for a package of highly touted prospects from the Mets to the Blue Jays. In 2013, Dickey did not meet those expectations, going only 14-13 with a 4.21 ERA. He still started 34 starts and pitched in 224.2 innings, but some speculated that his knuckleball had trouble translating to the atmosphere of Rogers Centre as well as the American League.

Dickey is signed through 2015 and has an option for 2016.

Tags: Toronto Blue Jays

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