KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Much was made whether R.A. Dickey would start Tuesday's All-Star Game because of the knuckleballer's story that has captivated a nation. It turns out the Mets righthander will pitch in relief, and when he enters, it will be with Carlos Ruiz.
National League manager Tony La Russa said Ruiz will catch Dickey's knuckler and the duo will probably enter in either the fifth or sixth inning. The knuckleball can be such a challenge to catch that La Russa wanted Dickey to be able to work in the bullpen with Ruiz before pitching.
Ruiz has never caught a knuckleball in the majors. Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer previously caught Dickey and had some warnings for Ruiz.
"I know when R.A. came over, he gave me some pointers," Mauer said. "I'm sure he's talking with Ruiz. It could be a little nerve-wracking, especially when guys get on base."
For what it's worth, Ruiz is 5 for 16 lifetime against Dickey. But catching him could prove more difficult.
Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.