Blue Jays demote struggling Kikuchi to bullpen

Mark Blinch / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Yusei Kikuchi has been moved to the bullpen, manager John Schneider said Wednesday, according to Keegan Matheson of MLB.com.

Schneider added that he expects Kikuchi to contribute by pitching shorter innings.

The skipper also said right-hander Mitch White will start Saturday against the New York Yankees instead of Kikuchi, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.

"He's a really good pitcher, and he has really good stuff," Schneider said Tuesday when asked about Kikuchi's role with the team moving forward. "And when he's on, he strikes a lot of guys out. At this point in the season, anything is on the table, and (we're) just trying to find the best spot for him."

Kikuchi has posted a 5.25 ERA with 1.51 WHIP over 82 1/3 innings as a starter this season. He signed a three-year, $36-million contract in the offseason following an All-Star campaign with the Seattle Mariners.

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Blue Jays demote struggling Kikuchi to bullpen
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