Skip to content

Two Orioles pitchers are learning the knuckler

May 17, 2013, 11:03 AM EDT

Knuckleball

When Tim Wakefield was winding down I was worried that we’d not have any knuckleballers. Then R.A. Dickey emerged from years of obscurity. Dickey, of course, will not last forever, so we’re faced again with the possible extinction of knuckleballers.

Thank goodness there are two of them on Dagobah right now, learning from the knuckleball Yoda:

[Zach] Clark and [Eddie] Gamboa are getting plenty of help as they try to learn the finer points of the knuckleball. Pitching at Double-A Bowie, they’ve been receiving tutelage from Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, whose 318 career major league victories are the most ever by a knuckleballer.

They’re in the Orioles’ system and have been tasked by Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter to get crafty.

I still hope that one day the knuckler will re-emerge as just another pitch otherwise conventional pitchers have in their repertoire, as was the case for much of the 20th century. But having to  live in a world where it is primarily seen as a means of salvaging otherwise stalled careers is better than nothing.

Latest Posts
  1. And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:47 AM EDT

    Adam Wainwright AP

    Adam Wainwright turned in the latest of several dominant pitching performances around Major League Baseball this week.

  2. Toronto’s bullpen melts down in epic fashion against the Twins

    Apr 17, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Sergio Santos AP AP

    The Twins scored six runs on one hit, eight walks (!) and three wild pitches in the bottom of the eighth inning tonight.

  3. Jonathan Papelbon is tired of talking about his velocity

    Apr 17, 2014, 10:05 PM EDT

    Jonathan Papelbon AP AP

    Jonathan Papelbon had a little more giddy-up on his fastball today, but don’t ask him about it.

  4. Jeremy Jeffress elects free agency

    Apr 17, 2014, 9:31 PM EDT

    Jeremy Jeffress Getty Getty Images

    Jeremy Jeffress turned down a minor league assignment with the Blue Jays and will seek an opportunity elsewhere.

  5. Report: Joel Hanrahan looked “great” during his throwing session today

    Apr 17, 2014, 8:21 PM EDT

    Joel Hanrahan AP

    Lots of teams watched Joel Hanrahan throw today.

  6. VIDEO: The Yankees turned a triple play against the Rays

    Apr 17, 2014, 8:16 PM EDT

    triple play yankees

    Yangervis Solarte, Brian Roberts, and Scott Sizemore turned a triple play and got CC Sabathia out of a potential jam.

  7. Mike Napoli returns to Red Sox starting lineup

    Apr 17, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

    Mike Napoli AP AP

    Mike Napoli suffered a dislocated finger on Tuesday, but only had to miss one game.

  8. Shane Victorino to begin minor league rehab assignment Saturday

    Apr 17, 2014, 7:02 PM EDT

    Shane Victorino Getty Getty Images

    Shane Victorino has been sidelined since the end of spring training with a hamstring strain.

  9. Mariners prospect Ji-Man Choi suspended 50 games for performance-enhancing drug

    Apr 17, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT

    ji-man choi

    Ji-Man Choi, a Triple-A first baseman in the Mariners’ farm system, has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug methandienone.

  10. Yasiel Puig does all of the Yasiel Puig things in the same inning

    Apr 17, 2014, 5:08 PM EDT

    Yasiel Puig AP

    You take the good, you take the bad, you take ‘em both and there you have Yasiel Puig … Yasiel Puig . . .

  11. Robinson Cano, Shin-Soo Choo each hit their first homers of the season

    Apr 17, 2014, 4:24 PM EDT

    Robinson Cano AP

    Slow starts for the well-paid are beginning to be reversed.

  12. Kyle Gibson tosses eight shutout innings, lowers ERA to 0.93

    Apr 17, 2014, 3:46 PM EDT

    Kyle Gibson Twins Getty Images

    Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson was fantastic this afternoon against the Blue Jays, shutting them out for eight innings of four-hit ball. Gibson struck out four, walked one, and lowered his ERA to 0.93 on the season.

  13. Wrigley Field, after the apocalypse

    Apr 17, 2014, 3:09 PM EDT

    Wrigley Field

    This is some good nonsense for a slow day.

  14. They’re playing sub-freezing baseball in Minnesota

    Apr 17, 2014, 1:46 PM EDT

    below freezing

    It’s really, really cold in Minnesota right now and they’re playing outdoor baseball.

  15. HBT Daily: The Perfect Baseball Game

    Apr 17, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    HBT Daily Logo

    Your mileage may vary, but a 1-0 game in which each starter go the distance is baseball at its most sublime.

  16. Cardinals place Joe Kelly on the disabled list

    Apr 17, 2014, 1:14 PM EDT

    NLCS - Los Angeles Dodgers v St Louis Cardinals - Game One Getty Images

    St. Louis has placed right-hander Joe Kelly on the disabled list after he injured his hamstring trying to beat out an infield single Wednesday.

  17. Another day, another in-depth Yasiel Puig article

    Apr 17, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    yasiel puig pose getty Getty Images

    Two big features in one week suggest we have hit Peak Puig.

  18. Casey Janssen shut down with more back problems

    Apr 17, 2014, 11:46 AM EDT

    Casey Janssen Getty Getty Images

    Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen began a minor-league rehab assignment by throwing a scoreless inning Tuesday at Single-A, but now Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that he’s been “temporarily shutdown” with more back soreness.

Featured video

This was 'the perfect baseball game'
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. S. Kazmir (4950)
  2. K. Uehara (4200)
  3. T. Wood (3645)
  4. G. Springer (3367)
  5. J. Kubel (3273)
  1. M. Machado (3057)
  2. T. Walker (2959)
  3. D. Pedroia (2930)
  4. H. Rondon (2928)
  5. I. Nova (2863)