When you take a look at the Toronto Blue Jays’ bullpen, they are missing some pieces. First, they don’t really have a traditional long man. In Game 3 that wasn’t an issue, as Marcus Stroman scattered 11 hits while getting great support from his defense and offense.
The Jays also don’t have a go-to lefty reliever. Brett Cecil was that guy during the season and he did his job well, holding left-handed hitters to a .195 batting average while striking out 33 and walking just 4. But he’s out with a calf injury.
The Blue Jays, though, might have the guy to fill either of those needs in Game 4 of this ALCS: David Price.
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Price last pitched on Saturday, and dominated the Royals for six innings before things got away from both him and his teammates. He threw 96 pitches and took the Game 2 loss.
Tuesday’s Game 4 could be Price’s throw day, as pitchers generally throw a light bullpen day on the second or third day after their last start. Regardless of what Price’s routine is — second day, third, or not at all — he should have 15-30 pitches in him and still be fine for his scheduled Game 6 start on Friday. Assuming there is a Game 6.
And that’s really the point. The Blue Jays have to get to a Game 6, and preparing for one in Game 4 when you are down two games to one might be a mistake. It could be one at-bat against lefties Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer, or turning around Kendrys Morales to the right side, where he has less power.
Or it could be picking up two innings to bridge the gap from R.A. Dickey to the Jays’ late-inning relievers, should Dickey get in trouble early. Regardless, Price could play a big role out of the bullpen, much like he did in Game 4 of the Division Series.
We talk a lot about David Price’s inability to secure a win in his seven postseason starts. That doesn’t diminish his postseason value, though, and we might very well see that on display in Game 4.