DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) - When Toronto's J.P. Arencibia crouches behind the plate for right-hander R.A. Dickey's first spring training pitch, the knuckleball won't be strange to him.
Arencibia has never caught one in a game, but he's quite familiar with Dickey.
``Me and R.A. both live in Nashville in the offseason, so me and him have been working the whole time since they signed him,'' the catcher said Tuesday.
After Dickey went 20-6 last year for the Mets, he became the first knuckleballer to win a Cy Young Award and then was traded in December when New York couldn't sign him to a new contract for beyond 2013 at a price the team liked. As part of the trade, Toronto signed the 38-year-old to a $30 million, three-year deal.
Arencibia's only other knuckleball experience was facing Boston's Tim Wakefield in 2011. Arencibia struck out three times but his two hits in nine at-bats were home runs, and he had five RBIs.
Already announced as Toronto's opening-day starter, Dickey was 41-50 over nine major league seasons entering 2013.
Arencibia described his first time catching Dickey in Nashville as ``um, pretty interesting.''
``Tough pitch. The biggest thing is learning to put your pride aside,'' Arencibia said. ``The problem going in is that you know you're not going to catch every ball. Even the best catchers are going to struggle every once in a while. As I've had more and more reps, I've become more familiar with how he's going to throw. I could sense which way the ball was going to go. But that pitch is really humbling. Each time you think you're figured it out, that's when it hits you right in the chest.''

Top MLB Public Bets

#1 961 Chicago Cubs  88%
#2 976 Colorado Rockies  87%
#3 964 Cleveland Indians  85%
#4 978 Toronto Blue Jays  83%
#5 970 Texas Rangers  80%
#7 968 Baltimore Orioles  74%
#8 952 Miami Marlins  72%
#9 971 Detroit Tigers  71%
#10 965 Boston Red Sox  70%

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Tigers vs. Royals Pick Can the Detroit Tigers snap out of their funk today when they take on the Kansas City Royals at...
Thumbnail Reds vs. Blue Jays Pick Will today’s 7:07PM ET game between the Cincinnati Redsand Toronto Blue Jaysprovide plenty of big moments and runs?
Thumbnail Brewers vs. Mets Prediction Will today's matchup between the Mets and Brewers be high-scoring at 4:10PM ET in New York?
Thumbnail Cubs vs. Padres Prediction Will the Cubs snap their three-game losing streak with a win over the Padres today at 4:40PM ET?
Thumbnail Nationals vs. Giants Prediction Can the Giants beat the Nationals today at 4:05PM ET and win their third consecutive game?

MLB Team Pages