BALTIMORE - R.A. Dickey will make his scheduled start against the Orioles on Tuesday night.
The 38-year-old knuckleballer was forced out of his last start, a dominant six-inning performance against the White Sox, earlier than planned due to a soft tissue problem in his neck.
"It feels like, it's like a knot in there and then that knot emits pain," said Dickey. "I don't know if I would consider it like a stabbing sensation but it's, certainly, you know it's there."
Dickey is 2-2 in four starts with an ERA that's progressively shrunk – now down to 4.30. His two most recent outings, wins in Kansas City and home against the White Sox, have been his best since arriving in Toronto. Ironically, they've been the starts in which he's worked through pain.
"Just a progressive thing," said Dickey. "Getting up, sitting down, cooling off, heating up, cooling off, heating up. It tightened up to the point, I probably could have kept going another inning but it just didn't make any sense if I wanted to get to this place for my start tomorrow and be at full capacity."
"Each day he's feeling better and better," said manager John Gibbons before quipping, "He threw awful good with a bad neck the other night so maybe we don't want to see it leave."
Dickey says the pain emanates from a knot in his neck; he loosely compares what he feels to a stabbing sensation rather than a series of spasms. The agitation is distracting when he's trying to pitch.
"It can, sure, so much so that it makes you think about coming out of the game, which you don't want to do," he said. "Hopefully that's behind us. I think we've given it enough rest and treatment that I'm optimistic."
Dickey has spent his time in-between starts resting and receiving daily treatment. He didn't throw his usual bullpen session, which would have occurred on Saturday. He can't predict how Tuesday night will go.
"I don't really know what to anticipate," said Dickey. "If it's like last start then I'll have to tip-toe around it a little bit. If it's not, if it's healed better than it did between the last start to that start then I might be just fine. I just won't know until I get out there and really start adrenaline building and all that."
Outfielder Casper Wells has been traded to Oakland for cash considerations.
Wells, 28, joined the Blue Jays for their series in Kansas City April 13-15 after being claimed off waivers from Seattle. Wells didn't appear in any of the three games and then was designated for assignment to make room for pitcher Ramon Ortiz on the 40-man roster.