Bigger bench a boost to Blue Jays

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. (JOEL LEMAY/QMI Agency)

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. (JOEL LEMAY/QMI Agency)

KEN FIDLIN, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:50 PM ET

With Blue Jays starting pitchers routinely going deep into games the past couple of weeks, it not only has taken the strain off the bullpen but has opened up another spot on the bench that has been used with effectiveness.

Earlier in the season the team needed eight relievers to protect against early exits by the starters. Now the bullpen is back to seven bodies.

The Jays currently have a four-man bench that has delivered in a variety of ways. Against lefthanded pitching, manager John Gibbons has some flexibility with Adam Lind, Juan Francisco, Erik Kratz (or Dioner Navarro or Josh Thole, depending on who is catching). Against righthanders, he has two of the catchers, plus infielder Steve Tolleson and outfielder Kevin Pillar.


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