Blue Jays’ Drew Hutchison Gets Work In

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The Blue Jays got a good start out of Drew Hutchison against the Yankees last week. They responded by looking at the schedule and deciding that they would not need a 5th starter for a while. They then looked at the state of their current rotation and had to choose a starter to skip. Hutchison was the logical choice. But, you can’t just skip a guy for a couple weeks and expect him to remain sharp (uh, as sharp as Hutch has been…). So, they sent him down to AAA Buffalo to keep him fresh.

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They will certainly need him as they enter the final month of the season in the thick of a playoff battle. Hutch was given a very clear assignment: get some work in. Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com says that his instructions were to “toss five innings or 70 pitches”. With a clear objective in tow, Hutch took the mound Sunday afternoon for the Bisons and was not great. He wasn’t terrible either.

His final line looked like this: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR and a balk in 71 pitches. He gave up a run in each of the first two innings in a less than exciting start. Despite his walk total of 3 (2 or which came late in his outing), he managed to throw 43 of his 71 pitches for strikes. Voice of the Bisons, Ben Wagner, tried to paint a kind picture of Hutch’s outing by saying the offense didn’t help him out much.

Hutch said he felt good about his outing: “You want to make sure you get everything in, I think I was able to do that. Towards the end I thought I got into a good rhythm. I wanted to make sure that I threw everything early. I thought I made some good pitches.”

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

According to John Lott, Hutchison was a little surprised by the demotion at first: “I was surprised, given the way I’d pitched the last few times out,” he said Sunday. “It was probably the best I’d felt (this season). But it is what it is.” He has since come around to understanding the move. Though he’s been throwing the ball well lately, his 2015 resume isn’t exactly glowing. His bipolar home vs road performances have been mind boggling. His 12-2 record shows a much different story than his 9.00 road ERA vs 2.57 mark at home. He’s been the benefactor of some nice run support this year. Overall, Hutch hasn’t exactly given the Blue Jays reason to look elsewhere for options to send down.

Drew Hutchison just turned 25 (in Buffalo) and will be counted on as the Blue Jays move forward. Chisholm says that he’ll be called upon on Saturday to start against the Tigers. Given his ERA splits, it is good that it’ll be a home start. Hopefully, the opportunity to go down to AAA and simply get some work in without the pressure of big league playoffs will have benefited him. At the very least, it gave him the chance to stay loose without having to sit on the bench watching his team move on without him over the last week or so.

Drew Hutchison will be back with the Blue Jays. He may not be living up to the once high praise and projections that we heaped upon him just months ago. But, he is going to be a big part of how much this team achieves in the following weeks. Hopefully, the opportunity to get work in will have served him well.

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