Toronto Blue Jays: Drew Hutchison Named Opening Day Starter


Toronto Blue Jays: Drew Hutchison named opening day starter

The Toronto Blue Jays announced that Drew Hutchison will get the start when the Jays kick off the new season at Yankee Stadium on April 6. At just 24 years old, it should be a big-time motivator for Hutch, who will be the opening day starter for the first time in his career.

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There were a number of factors that likely went in to the decision to give Hutch the opening day gig. He technically beat out four other men for the job, although Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Norris were never really in the conversation. Manager John Gibbons indicated a few days ago that they preferred to keep Mark Buerhle out of New York, where he has struggled throughout his career.

Jun 15, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher

R.A. Dickey

(43) talks to catcher

Josh Thole

(30) in the third inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Blue Jays won 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports.

R.A. Dickey was the other contender to kick off the new campaign for the Jays. It makes sense that it didn’t work out that way — with Josh Thole being sent down to AAA Buffalo, Russell Martin will get a chance to catch the knuckleballer. It would have been a tough task for the $82 million man to make his Blue Jays debut catching a hard-to-predict floating cork ball.

If Marcus Stroman were around, I think it would have been an easy choice to hand him the ball and let him pitch in his home state. The stars aligned for Hutchison and it is a great opportunity for him to start the season in style by tearing through a geriatric Yankees squad.

The prestigious appointment of an Opening Day starter is overblown anyways. Especially on a team that does not have an “ace”. In this case, Gibbons is playing his cards for the first two weeks of the season, rather than just the first game. Buehrle is 0-6 with a 5.98 ERA against the Yankees in the last three seasons. Dickey made two starts at Camden Yards in the last three years, giving up six runs in 12.2 innings. Both of these potentially disastrous match ups have been avoided.

Apr 4, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays former pitcher

Roy Halladay

poses with Blue Jays starting pitcher

Mark Buehrle

(56) before a game against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre.

The New York Yankees won 7-3.

Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Forget the politics for a moment; it is pretty exciting to see a young pitcher who had some success last season take the reigns of the Blue Jays pitching staff. It is foreshadowing the exciting future that lies ahead for a Jays’ rotation that has been simply mediocre since the Roy Halladay era came to an end. Three years from now, if everything goes according to plan, we could be witnessing an extremely talented and deep pitching squad. Hutchinson (24 years old) and Stroman (23) will be anchoring the pitching staff alongside Sanchez (22), Norris (21), and Jeff Hoffman (22). All entering their respective primes in their mid-twenties, with plenty of upside and hopefully a few years of success in the majors behind them. It’s something to hope for and look forward to.

Mar 1, 2015; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher

Drew Hutchison

(36), relief pitcher

Brett Cecil

(27), relief pitcher Aaron Sanchez (41) and starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (6) look on during spring training workouts at

Bobby Mattick

Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hutchinson is 2-4 with a 5.17 ERA in six career starts against the Yankees. He will matchup against Masahiro Tanaka, who went 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA against the Jays last season.

As I munch on spicy sweet chilli Spitz and check my fantasy baseball lineup hourly, I think to myself, we are less than a week away from Blue Jays baseball.

What do you think about Hutch getting the opening day start in New York? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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