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JAYS ARE PLANNING ON 4-MAN ROTATION

SHARE JAYS ARE PLANNING ON 4-MAN ROTATION

One look at the statistics told Toronto manager Cito Gaston that the Blue Jays should use a four-man rotation in the playoffs.

Gaston knew he wanted Dave Stieb, Todd Stottlemyre and Jimmy Key to start. Then, after sitting down with his coaches and studying the numbers, Gaston saw why Mike Flanagan, despite an 8-10 record this season, should also get a chance."I know I've always pitched well against Oakland," Flanagan said Sunday. "I don't know my record, but I think it's pretty good."

Try 19-7 lifetime. Flanagan won both of his starts against the Athletics this year, allowing only one run in 152/3 innings.

"Maybe I should change it so he pitches twice in this series," Gaston said.

Flanagan probably won't get the chance. Stieb, 17-8, will face Dave Stewart, 21-9, in Tuesday night's opener at Oakland. Stottlemyre, 7-7, will oppose Mike Moore, 19-11, on Wednesday and Key, 13-15, and Flanagan will follow for Toronto against Storm Davis, 19-7, and Bob Welch, 17-8.

Flanagan was inconsistent early in September and made his last start Wednesday. He wanted to pitch in the playoffs but wasn't sure Gaston wanted him.

"I hoped I would start, but nothing is a given," said Flanagan, 3-1 in six postseason starts with Baltimore in 1979 and 1983. "There are a lot of good pitchers on this team. That's probably our strength."

John Cerutti made 31 starts this season and went 11-11 with a 3.08 earned-run average. Flanagan made 30 starts and had a 3.93 ERA.

Cerutti, however, is 0-6 lifetime against the Athletics, including two losses this year.

"I know John wanted to start and is disappointed, but I had to do what I thought was best for the team," Gaston said. "He's more used to getting up and down in the bullpen, and that's where he can help us more than Mike."

Gaston will announce his postseason roster today. He's still deciding on how many pitchers to keep, but either way Frank Wills won't be one of them.

Wills, a minor leaguer for most of his 10 pro seasons, went 3-1 for Toronto this year. He pitched four shutout innings of one-hit relief Saturday and got the victory in the Blue Jays' 4-3 clincer over Baltimore.

Wills, however, was not on the roster Aug. 31 and is not eligible. He had been with Toronto during the summer, but was hit hard twice by Baltimore and went back to Class AAA Syracuse.

Glenallen Hill, another of those ineligible, also got a chance this season under Gaston. Once a promising prospect, Hill seemed buried in the minors until this year.

Hill played in 19 games down the stretch and batted near .300. He started in right field Friday night in the big game against Baltimore.