Blue Jays may be without Loup for Game 5

Lefty missed Game 4 with family issue; Price could be ready if needed

Blue Jays may be without Loup for Game 5

TORONTO -- Aaron Loup's status for Game 5 of the American League Division Series on Wednesday is still unknown. The Blue Jays reliever missed Game 4 in Arlington due to a family issue, and manager John Gibbons did not have an update on the lefty's status on Tuesday ahead of an optional team workout at Rogers Centre.

If Loup isn't available, and with Brett Cecil lost for the playoffs with a significant tear in his left calf muscle, the Blue Jays could find themselves without a left-hander in the bullpen for the deciding game of the ALDS in Toronto against the Rangers.

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Game Date Result
Gm 1 Oct. 8 TEX 5, TOR 3
Gm 2 Oct. 9 TEX 6, TOR 4
Gm 3 Oct. 11 TOR 5, TEX 1
Gm 4 Oct. 12 TOR 8, TEX 4
Gm 5 Oct. 14 TOR 6, TEX 3

Unless, of course, they call on David Price again. The ace lefty made an appearance in Monday's Game 4 victory, coming on in relief of knuckleballer R.A. Dickey with a 7-1 lead in the fifth inning. But Gibbons wasn't optimistic that Price would be available.

"Well, I'm not sure, I wouldn't necessarily count on it. You know, first, David is very instrumental in getting us here, but he's not here to be abused, either," Gibbons said. "So we'll see, but don't count on it."

Price said in a postgame press conference Monday that he'd be ready to pitch if needed, and Gibbons didn't outright squash the possibility, so there appears to be some wiggle room.

"I'll go to the field [Tuesday], I'll get my work in and I'll be ready to go on Wednesday," Price said.

The 30-year-old pitched three innings of relief in the Game 4, allowing three earned runs on six hits to earn the win. That meant Price, who was acquired at the Trade Deadline from the Tigers, wouldn't be available to start Game 5. The team will instead give the ball to Marcus Stroman.

If they don't have a lefty option and they need the bullpen to retire a left-handed hitter, the Blue Jays could go to right-hander Ryan Tepera, who was activated when Cecil went down with an injury. Tepera's splits against lefties are strong, but the team probably wouldn't turn to him in a high-leverage situation. A more likely scenario would see Mark Lowe or setup man Aaron Sanchez take the ball to bridge the gap between the middle and late innings before turning things over to closer Roberto Osuna.

Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.