Blue Jays open to using David Price out of bullpen


John Gibbons and the Toronto Blue Jays are officially open to the idea of using David Price out of the bullpen in the ALDS. Speaking with reporters today in Texas, Gibbons revealed that R.A. Dickey would start a fourth game as scheduled, but that Price would be available to follow him out of the bullpen if the Jays find some beneficial matchups. 

There had been discussions about starting Price on short rest in a potential fourth game, something we may be seeing if Price had of been more dominant. Instead, the option of piggybacking a knuckleball from the right side with a Cy Young candidate from the left side could be very intriguing.

Price, to his credit, is desperate to make up for his disappointing outing in the series opener. As he tells Ken Rosenthal, he’s open to taking on any role that may come his way or benefit the club.

A relief appearance would surely leave Marcus Stroman in line for the game five start (look at us being so optimistic..), but Rosenthal reports the Blue Jays are even open to using him out of the bullpen if necessary. This seems unlikely, but don’t doubt Gibby.

The calf injury to Brett Cecil is being linked to the strategy with Price, but the lefty’s handedness does not necessarily put him in line to be a specialist for the Jays. In fact, his reverse splits in 2015 have left him with a .266 opponent’s batting average against left-handed hitters, up from .219 against righties. Instead, he could be used in a one-to-three inning role, especially if the Jays feel tempted to exercise a quick hook with Dickey. Price’s deep arsenal could be condensed to focus on his most effective pitch combinations, working especially off of his plus changeup against batters from the right side.

Desperate times call for creative measures in Toronto, but a bullpen suddenly left without their most dominant arm could have some unexpected help on the way. If Gibbons has ever had a chance to manage his way out of the dog house with Jays fans, it’s now.

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