R.A. Dickey certainly has the credentials to start Tuesday’s All-Star Game for the National League.
The Mets’ 37-year-old knuckleballer is 12-1 with a 2.40 ERA and threw back-to-back one-hitters in June.
Tony La Russa will be the first to admit that Dickey has had a marvelous season and deserves consideration, but there are other factors the manager of the NL squad must weigh.
“I’ve given that a lot of thought, but there is an issue about catching him and what spot to use him,” La Russa said on a conference call with reporters Thursday. “His season has gotten everyone’s attention, including our staff’s and we’re talking about the best way to win the game with our personnel and how we use Dickey will be a part of that. But yes, that has been addressed and [pitching coach] Dave [Duncan] and I have talked quite a bit about it and we have a plan that we hope to implement.”
“Dickey could certainly start the game, he’s got the credentials,” LaRussa later said. “But I look at the five guys that were selected, and each of those guys could make a claim, so as a manager, you have to keep your heart pure and do the best you can for the team over one individual.”
La Russa may be hesitant to allow 25-year-old starter Buster Posey to catch Dickey.
Veterans Yadier Molina (29) or Carlos Ruiz (33) could be better options.
Other candidates to start for the NL include Stephen Strasburg, Matt Cain, Cole Hamels, Clayton Kershaw and Gio Gonzalez.