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October Confidential: Blue Jays

Rival players offer inside look at facing the AL East champs
MLB.com

How do you beat the Blue Jays? MLB.com asked rival players from around Major League Baseball to offer an inside look at how best to face the AL East champions.

David Price
"You have to attack him before he attacks you. With a guy like that, you have to get to him early: early in the game, early in the count."
-- AL East position player

How do you beat the Blue Jays? MLB.com asked rival players from around Major League Baseball to offer an inside look at how best to face the AL East champions.

David Price
"You have to attack him before he attacks you. With a guy like that, you have to get to him early: early in the game, early in the count."
-- AL East position player

"He's got command. He's a guy who can locate everything really well on both sides of the plate. Good velocity. I've faced him his whole career but I think the guy has gotten better. When he first came up, he was more of a power pitcher. Now he probably goes down a couple of miles an hour but he locates and doesn't walk people. He's putting it where he wants and making you feel comfortable. Experience has taught him to be who he is, and he's one of the best pitchers in the game."
-- AL East pitcher No. 3

:: ALDS: Rangers vs. Blue Jays -- Tune-in info ::

R.A. Dickey
"When he's on, he's really on. I've seen it where the ball is dancing really well. If he gets behind in the count, he comes in with that fastball, so you have to ready all the time. He throws a hard one and a slow one. I prefer to hit the hard knuckleball, because I'm a fastball hitter. You still have to be prepared for the fastball. It's only in the 80s, but compared to the knuckleball, it starts to look pretty fast."
-- AL East position player No. 2

Brett Cecil
"That 87 mph breaking ball is flat-out nasty on a lefty like me. Make him throw it on the plate. Otherwise, you've got no chance. Get ahead in the count so he has to throw a fastball."
-- AL East position player No. 3

Roberto Osuna
"He's going to attack you. A lot of fastballs. He's got 97, 98, 99. He's got a very explosive fastball and he's got a good slider too. He throws all three of his pitches, so when you're going up to hit, just be ready, because it's coming over the plate and you don't know what pitch it is. He's coming right at you."  
-- AL East position player No. 4

Josh Donaldson
"You have to keep him off balance. He's a good fastball hitter but at the same time, he will hit a mistake and offspeed pitches in the zone, too. Be aggressive. You've got to get ahead of him, throw strikes but also know when to not let him beat you."
-- AL East pitcher No. 1

"He's tough. He's sort of the same as Miguel Cabrera was a couple of years ago as far as the scouting reports. He's a guy that's always looking to do damage. He's not necessarily looking to hit the ball the other way, but he can. So you have to be conscious of that. If you allow him to sit on one particular pitch, it doesn't matter how hard you have to go or how nasty an off-speed pitch it is, the dude can hit it. And like I said, he swings hard and he's trying to hit the ball hard every time he swings. You just can't make mistakes with him and if you walk him, you'll take that and go about getting the next guy, and that's usually [Jose] Bautista or [Edwin] Encarnacion, so that's not very easy either."
 -- AL East pitcher No. 2

:: October Confidential -- Select a club ::

Troy Tulowitzki
"If anything with him, he really balances out the Blue Jays lineup. You see the four or five guys they run out in a row and he does some big things for them. If anything, I feel like he's getting better pitches to hit now. He's a guy like Donaldson, you have to minimize the mistakes to. You have to get ahead and get in a count where he's a little more defensive."
-- AL East pitcher No. 1

Edwin Encarnacion
"You can see what you can do by the first pitch and how he swings and his takes. I've always stayed away, away, away, just to try to get him to roll over it. It looks like he's made a pretty conscious effort to stay on balls away and he's obviously got power too. I think he hits those off-speed strike pitches really well. You've got to make sure he's respecting the fastball before you do anything off-speed. He's another guy, if you walk him, take that over a home run."
-- AL East pitcher No. 2  

Jose Bautista
"He and Encarnacion are pretty similar. If you go in, you have to go in deep. It's more of an effect pitch but they want to swing the bat so they tend to swing at pitches out of the zone trying to do damage. You just try to stay away from the barrel. If they hit it, hopefully they hit it at somebody."
-- AL East pitcher No. 2

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers, Tucker Barnhart, Jose Bautista, Brett Cecil, R.A. Dickey, Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, Roberto Osuna, David Price