Bullpen receives boost with new acquisitions

Bullpen receives boost with new acquisitions

Bullpen receives boost with new acquisitions
SEATTLE -- The Blue Jays bullpen took on a new look Tuesday night with the arrival of right-handers Brad Lincoln and Steve Delabar.

Both hurlers were acquired in separate trades late Monday night and provide a much-needed boost to a relief corps that has been decimated by injuries in recent weeks.

The two moves immediately help the Blue Jays pitching staff and also improve depth in the future as both relievers are under club control for a long period of time.

"There are two components, one is a short-term one, and it bolsters our bullpen now, and with their age and years remaining under contract, there's an eye to the bigger picture, as well," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.

"This answers some of those questions going forward of who you can build with."

Lincoln goes from a Pirates team that is leading the National League Wild Card standings to a team that faces an uphill battle to get back into contention. The Blue Jays entered play on Tuesday night trailing by 4 1/2 games for an American League Wild Card with a total of six teams ahead of them.

That could be a letdown for a lot of players but Lincoln said he wasn't caught off-guard by the trade and is looking forward to an opportunity with a team that will use him as a setup man.

"My mentality fits that pretty well," said Lincoln, who posted a 2.73 ERA in 59 1/3 innings for Pittsburgh. "For me to use my stuff like I know how has been a long time coming. Now it's finally starting to come together.

"It's either time to put up or shut up. For me, at this time of my career, I'm going to have to start putting up numbers to stick around. That brought me to the realization now is the time to step it up."

Delabar finds himself in somewhat of an opposite position. He goes from a Mariners team that has the third-worst record in the American League to one that sits at an even .500.

The 29-year-old has surrendered nine home runs in just 36 2/3 innings this season but has limited left-handers to an .089 batting average in 56 at-bats this season. He has been working on a new pitch in hopes improving the .243 mark against righties.

"I began working on a slider, a pitch that kind of can combat the right-handed hitters," said Delabar who throws in the mid-to-high 90s. "Those are the guys that have been hitting home runs. The main focus is to get that third pitch, or maybe just another pitch, that I can throw when I'm behind in the count so those guys aren't just sitting on fastball.

"Because when you're supplying a lot of the power, all those guys have to do is catch up with it and it goes a long way."