Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training: 5 Bold Predictions

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Feb 19, 2014; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Drew Hutchison (36) throws as the Blue Jays workout at the Bobby Mattick Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Hutchison Will Win The 5th Starter Job

Hutchison looked great during his first start of the spring, an intrasquad match-up where he faced off against fellow 5th starter competitor Marcus Stroman. He’s got a great track record in the minor leagues and was enjoying a fine rookie season in 2012 when Tommy John stepped in the way, posting a respectable 5-3 record, a 4.60 ERA, and a 7.5 K/9 ratio in 11 starts. His minor league track record profiles him as a strike-thrower and he has a solid repertoire of pitches to pull from (Fastball, Change-up, Slider) that will help him succeed at the big level.

Why will he win the job?

He’s arguably more advanced that Kyle Drabek, both in development and in his return from Tommy John. Toronto also saw a lot more of Esmil Rogers than they truly cared to in 2013, something they would like to avoid in 2014. That leaves Stroman and Todd Redmond as the biggest points of competition. However, while they aren’t coming right out and saying it, the Blue Jays would prefer that both Stroman and Sean Nolin return to the minors, getting a look at Triple-A hitters before facing live bats in the Major Leagues consistently. As for Redmond, he gave the Blue Jays a lot in 2013, but there’s a reason he struggled to get his opportunity at the big league level, and it is doubtful he’d be able to duplicate the magic again in 2014.

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  • Eric

    Agree with all of the predictions except hutchison. I think if we don’t trade or sign a starter, we pitch either drabek or stroman as #5. Got work on this thoo!

    • David Stewart

      Hmm, Stroman will go to AAA for seasoning and so will Drabek. He still needs to work on his control. Fear not, they will come up in time.

  • Len Nunes

    Kratz looked Arencibia like his in work with Dickey yesterday

    • Andrew van Laar

      He passed one ball not three :P

      • JP

        Don’t agree with 1 or 2……Hutchison will start in Buffalo imo…I think there is zero chance that Drew will be signed here…..3, 4, 5 I agree.

        Now I have a question if anyone knows or can discover the answer: is John Stilson injured or participating in ST? Have not heard anything about him since sent home from AFL except that he is a non roster ST invitee.

  • Andrew van Laar

    Good article Kyle :) I like your predictions and I think they have a chance of happening save for the Drew signing. I don’t think that will work. I honestly think AA despises Boras and that Drew never having played 2B could be a liabilty defensively plus there are injury concerns. With the offense we have I think AA doesn’t mind having a defensive whiz like Goins playing almost everyday and bring a .220 or .230 batting average in if he plays defense like he did last year.

  • RyanMueller

    I really like the ‘slave to options’ comment. So true. It makes sense to attempt to hold on to as many assets as possible. Fans put too much weight on spring training stats and as such get beer googles on when a playet with options plays really well.

  • Jack Stevenson

    Hutch: yes, Drew:no, Sierra:yes, Kraatz:yes . Nolin looked really good today, explosive like Sandy Koufax was.

  • Jack Stevenson

    Hutch, Sierra ,Kraatz yes. Drew, no. Need a longer term solution for 2nd. Nolin looked good today , explosive like Sandy Koufax was.

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