Blue Jays could use Price in bullpen in effort to extend ALDS
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Blue Jays, short on left-handed relief due to Brett Cecil’s season-ending injury, could turn to a rather intriguing option:
The Jays have discussed making Price available in relief in Game 4 on Monday if they remain alive in the best-of-five Division Series, according to major-league sources.
Price, 30, also could start Game 4 on three days’ rest, but the Jays have not talked about that possibility, sources said; righty R.A. Dickey currently is their starter for Game 4. Dickey, a knuckleballer, has yet to face the Rangers in 2015.
The Rangers lead the Division Series, two games to none. Jays right-hander Marco Estrada will face Rangers lefty Martin Perez in Game 3 on Sunday (8:00 p.m. ET, FS1).
The Jays possibly could use Price out of the bullpen in Game 3, but their internal talks have centered around using him in a potential Game 4 if necessary, sources said.
If Price pitched in Game 4, the Jays could turn to right-hander Marcus Stroman to start Game 5 on normal rest, if the series got that far.
Price did not throw his usual bullpen session on Saturday when the Jays worked out at Globe Life Park, sources said.
Cecil, who tore his left calf muscle in Game 2, is out for the rest of the playoffs. The Jays replaced him on their roster with right-hander Ryan Tepera, a rookie.
Tepera, who turns 28 on Nov. 3, has reverse splits — he held left-handed hitters to a .568 OPS during the regular season and righties to a .746 OPS.
Aaron Loup, expected to become the Jays’ principal lefty reliever in Cecil’s absence, got two important outs in extra innings of Game 2, but was inconsistent during the regular season. Opponents had a .776 OPS against him — .704 by left-handed hitters, .825 by righties.
Price, who is eligible for free agency after the season, has pitched only once in relief since his rookie season in 2008, when he became a pivotal part of the Rays’ bullpen in their march to the World Series.
He suffered the loss for the Jays pitching on 11 days rest in Game 1, falling to 0-6 with a 5.23 ERA in six career postseason starts after allowing five runs in seven innings.