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Gibbons being cautious with veteran rotation

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CINCINNATI -- The Blue Jays are taking extra precautions to make sure their starting rotation doesn't run out of gas during the latter stages of the 2014 season.

Toronto promoted right-hander Liam Hendriks from Triple-A Buffalo to make a spot start for Friday night's game vs. the Reds. The biggest beneficiary of the move is R.A. Dickey, who was bumped back to Sunday as he recovers from a minor groin injury.

Dickey wasn't the only one the Blue Jays had in mind with the move. Toronto also wants to protect Drew Hutchison and Mark Buehrle from tiring down the stretch.

"I think it's going to better serve us throughout the whole year when we pick a spot here and there and we give those guys an extra day," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We have some off-days coming that will allow us to do that.

"[Hendriks] was coming to pitch this series regardless, but with Dickey and the groin deal the other day, it allows us to back him up and give him an extra couple of days. But Hendriks was coming here anyways, it wasn't strictly to give Dickey a break."

Gibbons has never taken this approach before, but he pointed to the ages of Dickey (39) and Buehrle (35) as one reason why. Then there's also the fact that Hutchison missed all of last season because of Tommy John surgery and will continue to have his overall workload closely monitored.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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