Martin fares well in first session with Dickey


Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey, right, shakes hands with Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin, left, after pitching in the bullpen during baseball spring training in Dunedin, Fla. (Nathan Denette/CP)

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Catcher Russell Martin had his first up-close look at R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball Wednesday and earned positive reviews for his handling of the floater.

Dickey, who normally works with catcher Josh Thole, praised Martin’s athleticism and willingness to learn.

Manager John Gibbons said Martin looked really good — as if he had been handling the pitch for a while.

As for Martin, he said he thought the bullpen session went well.

The Canadian says catching the knuckleball is not easy but is doable. He expects to get more comfortable the more time he has with it.

Martin, a Toronto native who grew up in Chelsea, Que., signed a US$82-million, five-year deal with the Blue Jays last November.

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