DUNEDIN, Florida - R.A. Dickey doesn't care whether he has a personal catcher.
"It doesn't matter because all the guys we have in camp can (catch the knuckleball,") said Dickey. "That's the beauty of my situation, the only guy now who doesn't have any experience catching me is one of the guys who probably won't be on the team so it's a non-issue, really."
Dickey was referring to A.J. Jimenez, who's likely bound for Double-A New Hampshire. Former Mets Josh Thole (66 times) and Mike Nickeas (12) have caught Dickey; Henry Blanco was behind the plate for seven of Dickey's starts in 2010. J.P. Arencibia worked out with Dickey in the offseason, has caught the knuckleballer's five Grapefruit League innings this spring and the two are expected to be the American battery when Dickey makes a March 8 start against Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.
"He knows that as the spring goes along it's going to get better and better," said Dickey of Arencibia. "He's been great, I've been really pleased with the way he's been receiving the ball. He's not mishandling very many but, you know, a good (knuckleball) is very difficult for anyone to catch so you have to have some grace when it comes to that but he's done a great job."
Dickey threw three innings in Sunday's 11-6 win over the Phillies, struggling through a three-run, four-hit first before settling down.
"I'm sure he doesn't care," said Gibbons. "But we want the best guy out there."
The decision ultimately is Gibbons' but the knuckleballer has input.
"I think one of the beauties about being on a team like this is that the manager wants you to be involved," said Dickey. "He's talked to me about it, we've had conversations and dialogue about that and it's nice. You live in a culture where the manager respects what you say and wants you to be comfortable but I told him the same thing I told you, it doesn't matter to me, it's just about throwing good knuckleballs and (the catchers) can catch them just fine."
The Blue Jays "have their ideas" about who will catch Dickey. Gibbons will watch on television as Dickey and Arencibia work together at the WBC, from which he expects to get a better feel for the two than he has in Grapefruit League play.
"It's still not a pressure situation, (still not) under the gun."
GIBBONS ON BAUTISTA'S FRUSTRATION
Jose Bautista took a called third strike against the Yankees on Thursday and was clearly displeased. Manager John Gibbons says he isn't yet concerned but may address the matter with his star outfielder.
"It's a competitive business," said Gibbons. "He's a passionate guy and that's just the way he plays. What can happen, if you do that too much, (the umpires) stick it to you. A lot of people don't realize what's actually going on but that can happen ... And I don't blame them if somebody's whining all the time."
Bautista showed his frustration, most notably through body language, at times early last season. He was slow out of the gate, hitting just .181 with three home runs in March/April.
"Teams get reputations for different things and it's tough to be fighting those umpires all the time because they control the game, they really do," said Gibbons.
- Colby Rasmus (right shoulder) will be held out of game action until at least Tuesday.
- Mark DeRosa (back) felt pain on Friday and didn't play Saturday. There's a chance he could be in Sunday's lineup.
- The eight Blue Jays attending the World Baseball Classic depart camp on Sunday and will not be in the lineup. They are:
Brett Lawrie, Adam Loewen and Trystan Magnuson (Canada); R.A. Dickey and J.P. Arencibia (USA); Jose Reyes, Edwin Encarnacion, Moises Sierra and Ricardo Nanita (Dominican Republic).
- If Casey Janssen (shoulder) is to break camp with the Blue Jays he'll have to be able to pitch on back-to-back days.
"If we start the season with him he's definitely got to be able to do that," said manager John Gibbons. "He can't be one day on, one day off. That doesn't make sense at the beginning of the season. But he's got to be able to (throw on back-to-back days) down here I would think."
Sergio Santos is the front-runner to be the Blue Jays' closer on opening day. He's scheduled to make his third spring appearance on Sunday. In two scoreless innings of work, Santos has allowed one hit and has struck out two.
- The Blue Jays (5-4) and Phillies meet for the back-end of a home-and-home set, Sunday, 1:05 ET at Bright House Field in Clearwater.
Ricky Romero (0-0, 10.80) gets the start for Toronto and will throw two innings. The rest of the pitching lineup is as follows:
Sergio Santos (1 inning)
Aaron Loup (1)
Brett Cecil (1)
Justin Germano (1)
Claudio Vargas (1)
Alex Hinshaw (1)
Juan Perez (1)
The Blue Jays have the day off Monday and will return to action with a home date, Tuesday, 1:05 ET vs. Baltimore at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.