Paulino paired with Dickey on Sunday

Ronny Paulino will catch R.A. Dickey on Sunday primarily so he can be in the lineup to face Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw.

This is the first time Paulino will catch Dickey.

Ronny Paulino

New York Mets


The Mets would like to have Paulino's bat in the lineup (he's hitting .341 against lefties) and will deal with the risk of having him behind the plate for Dickey.

Dickey said on Saturday that he's "optimistic" things will go well.

"I think anything like that takes a little bit of time to really get comfortable with. I think the process is a little bit accelerated for us because we've got to perform tomorrow together," Dickey said. "So it's probably not ideal. But at the same time, I'm confident he can handle it."

Dickey said that only one of the catchers who've caught his knuckleball have looked "natural" doing so.

That was Henry Blanco, who caught seven of his starts last season.

Paulino caught Dickey in a bullpen session on Friday.

"It just takes time and experience. Ronny’s working on his own technique that he wants to feel the most comfortable with,” Dickey said, adding, "Ronny's never done it, so we'll see."

Dickey, who had a combined 12 walks in his first three starts, believes he's had a better feel for his knuckler in his last three starts.

"I felt like I've been pretty consistent," said Dickey, who is 1-3 with a 4.62 ERA.