After some rumblings through the morning, the Toronto Blue Jays will, in fact, be open to using David Price out of the bullpen in game five of the ALCS. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that Liam Hendriks and Mark Lowe will both be unavailable after working in Tuesday’s blowout loss.
Hendriks had insisted following game four that he would argue his way back into availability, just like he argued his way back into the sixth inning yesterday, but to no avail. While using Price out of the ‘pen is not the ideal strategy here, it becomes necessary with a bullpen that has become almost non-existent behind Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna.
Assuming that Marco Estrada is able to bail out the Blue Jays today, this leaves Marcus Stroman starting on short rest followed by Price circling back around for the seventh and deciding game. Again, this has the looks of a taped-together gameplan, but without winning game five, there is no more baseball to speak of. Toronto has been forced to empty their chamber here and make due with the remaining parts if they earn the opportunity.
In the ideal world, of course, Estrada works deep into the game without much issue and saves Price from a workload too large. Anything close to his ALDS relief appearance would potentially take him out of consideration for a seventh game, so expect to see him used situationally in this game if he is. Loup’s absence leaves the Jays without a lefty, so he may be called upon in the sixth or seventh to handle one-to-three batters.