After struggling on the road for most of the season, the Toronto Blue Jays have demoted pitcher Drew Hutchison to Triple-A baseball
There were signs that Drew Hutchison was on the verge of turning things around over his last two starts, but in the broader context of the Toronto Blue Jays‘ push to end a 21-year playoff drought, his demotion to the Buffalo Bisons in Triple-A baseball makes perfect sense.
It was the easy decision. It was the right decision.
On the season, Hutchison is 12-2 with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Opponents are hitting .287 against him. Those are respectable, if not great, numbers.
You might even be deceived by the high win count, but this masks some horrible road numbers and some timely but unsustainable run support. It would be foolish to ignore all this in the rush to reach the playoffs – it might even cost you a playoff spot. Hutchison simply can’t be trusted to win on the road.
Aug 16, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Drew Hutchison (36) delivers a pitch against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Away from the pitcher-friendly (?!) confines of Rogers Centre, Hutchison’s record is 2-1 (versus 10-1 at home) with an ERA of 9.00 (2.57), a WHIP of 2.00 (1.08) and a BA of .372 (.226). You can be forgiven for mistaking these for little league numbers; it appears manager John Gibbons made the same mistake for the past five months.
If it wasn’t for an MLB-best 6.71 in run support, we would probably see a lot more loses from Hutchison. As it stands, he has 10 no decisions on the season: two at home and eight on the road.
By demoting Hutchison at this point in the season, the Jays accomplish three things: 1) they maximize a team-friendly schedule that sees them play 12 games in the next 14 days to close out August with their best pitchers on the mound; 2) it gives Hutchison a chance to rediscover his form away from the spotlight and coming off two solids starts at the MLB level; and 3) it gives Marcus Stroman a chance to challenge Hutchison for the last rotation spot when the Jays embark on the final push in September.
Sep 20, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (54) pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
From my perspective, that’s a win-win-win situation for the Jays, and it puts Hutchison in a position to win as well. There’s still a chance for him this season; he just has to seize it.
What are your thoughts on Hutchison’s demotion? Did it come at the right time? Should the Jays have pulled the trigger sooner? Was he on the verge of rediscovering his game anyway? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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