TORONTO -- After going with an eight-man bullpen for over a month, the Blue Jays are currently using seven relievers, which has opened up a spot for another bench player.
Toronto used eight relievers, and a slew of different ones, after starters Brandon Morrow, Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek went on the disabled list.
Following a trade with the Astros, which netted two relief arms in J.A. Happ and Brandon Lyon, along with some more stability in the rotation, the Blue Jays have stopped carrying the extra bullpen arm.
"I think this gives us a lot more options in terms of what our starting lineup would be, and our flexibility within the game when you have four guys on the bench," manager John Farrell said.
The Blue Jays' bench consists of veteran Omar Vizquel, utility man Yan Gomes, backup catcher Jeff Mathis and speedsters Anthony Gose or Rajai Davis, depending on whether a left- or right-hander is on the mound.
Recent callup Travis Snider looks to have won the everyday role in left field, as evidenced by his inclusion in the starting lineup in Toronto's last two games despite the fact two lefties were on the mound.
Farrell says having an extra player on the bench allows him to implement more of a running game late, and allows the team to use a pinch-hitter more frequently than before.
The skipper also likes the idea of having a number of different starting lineups he can employ, and mentioned that when the team is facing lefties, he could use an outfield consisting of Gose and Davis at the corners. For now, Gose will start against right-handers and Davis against lefties.