"I'm not sure what's going to happen, but I'm working as a starter," Estrada said Saturday after he pitched two perfect innings with one strikeout in relief in Toronto's 4-2 triumph over the Phillies.
"He's in contention for a spot [in the rotation]," said manager John Gibbons. "Or he could end up in the bullpen. ... He's sort of a season vet. He's going to throw strikes. And it's so important to throw strikes."
Estrada, who was acquired by the Blue Jays on Nov. 1 in a trade with the Brewers for Adam Lind, has known success in his career both as a starter and a reliever.
The right-hander appeared in 36 games out of the bullpen for the Brewers in 2011, posting a 4-8 record with a 4.08 ERA. He was 12-11 in 44 starts for Milwaukee in 2012-13. Last season he was 7-6 with 18 starts and 21 relief appearances.
"I think everybody wants to start," Estrada said. "I've always wanted to be a starter. I'd like to be one. But if the opportunity's not there, I'll do anything I can to help the team.
"If I start, awesome. I'm prepared for it," Estrada continued. "If I don't, then the transition [to the bullpen] will be a lot easier than going the other way. I felt a little more comfortable today."
Comparing Saturday's outing to his first appearance of the spring on March 3 against Pittsburgh, Estrada said, "My timing was a little better today. I was just kind of cruising through it, I guess."
Jim Hawkins is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.