BALTIMORE – David Price won’t pitch again until Game 1 of the American League Division Series as the Toronto Blue Jays began gearing up for their post-season since 1993 by giving their ace left-hander an extended period of rest.
Price, who went 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 11 starts after his acquisition from the Detroit Tigers, was initially scheduled to start Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles, but with the American League East already clinched, the team opted to push him back.
“We said if we clinched (Wednesday) I wasn’t going to pitch (Thursday),” said Price, who was battling a fever and took some IV fluids Thursday. “They wanted me to throw just because of personal awards and I could care less about those, so it’s that point of the season where if you could get an extra couple of days, you’ll take it.”
For the season, Price is 18-5 with a 2.45 ERA in 220.1 innings over 32 starts, positioning him as a top candidate for the American League Cy Young Award.
He’ll stay sharp by throwing a simulated game or two before the post-season opener next Thursday.
“It’s pretty simple, he’s had a long season, hopefully he makes five, six starts, however long the post-season runs, it’s really a no-brainer to me,” said manager John Gibbons. “What good is it going to accomplish to make one more start?”
Price is headed to the post-season for the sixth time.
“I’ve thrown in the last couple of games in years before,” he said. “I threw Game 162 last year in Detroit, Game 163 the year before in Texas, so it’s a little different, but it’s all right, it’s still baseball.”
Mark Buehrle starts Friday’s regular-season closing series against the Tampa Bay Rays with Marco Estrada to follow Saturday.
The Blue Jays were considering bringing back Drew Hutchison on Sunday although if Buehrle is short of the 200-inning plateau, he may start the finale to reach the milestone for a 15th straight season.
Marcus Stroman was slated to start that game but Tuesday’s postponement pushed him off turn, although he could throw a couple of innings to stay sharp.