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Jays manager Gibbons says Dickey will start opening night

TSN.ca Staff

2/5/2013 8:44:30 PM

Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey will throw the first pitch for the Toronto Blue Jays when they open the 2013 MLB season at home against the Cleveland Indians on Monday April 2, 2013.

Manager John Gibbons joined the Bryan Hayes show on TSN Radio 1050 Toronto and confirmed that he's going to call on the veteran knuckleballer to get the start on opening night.

"We'll go with R.A. if he's ready to go," said Gibbons.  "He's coming off a Cy Young award winning year and won 20 games.  He's really earned that."

With a newly-revamped rotation, Gibbons knew that he had a lot of quality to choose from.

The Jays announced further rotation details on Tuesday night via the team's official Twitter. The tweet outlined Gibbons' plan for the 2013 rotation to have Dickey followed by: Brandon Morrow, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Ricky Romero in order.

Romero had been the Jays' opening day starter for both the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

"You could arguably start any of the five that we have and feel pretty good about it," said Gibbons. "With the year R.A. had last year, I think he gets the nod."

In earning the NL Cy Young award last season with the New York Mets, Dickey went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA and was first in the league with 230 strikeouts.  He also led the league with 233.2 innings pitched and five complete games.

The Blue Jays picked up Dickey in a seven player trade with the Mets that saw them give up catchers Travis d'Arnaud and John Buck as well as pitcher Noah Syndergaard and outfielder Wuilmer Becerra.  Along with Dickey the Jays also received catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas.