Earning a win Sunday against the New York Yankees wasn’t enough for Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Drew Hutchison to keep his spot in the starting rotation – at least for the next little while.
The Blue Jays optioned Hutchison to Triple-A Buffalo on Monday and will go with a four-man rotation for their upcoming eight-game road swing that begins Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
With an off day Thursday and then another one next Monday, the schedule allows Toronto’s other starters to work on regular rest. It’s the latest bold move by the Blue Jays as they continue to look for any edge they can find in what’s shaping up to be a compelling race between Toronto and New York for the American League East title, with Baltimore lurking not too far behind.
For Hutchison, the demotion will be disappointing coming just a day after an encouraging outing on the mound. The 24-year-old right-hander went 6 2/3 innings and gave up one run in Sunday’s 3-1 win over the Yankees to improve to 12-2 on the season.
However, his record isn’t entirely indicative of how he’s been pitching. Hutchison has a 5.06 ERA overall and a 9.00 ERA on the road. The inflated win total is more so a product of the ridiculous run support he’s received – Toronto averages 6.7 runs per game when Hutchison pitches – than anything he’s done himself.
It won’t be too long before Hutchison is back in the big leagues. He’ll likely make his next start for the Blue Jays at home on Aug. 29, the next time Toronto needs a fifth starter. For now though, he’s off to Triple-A where he’ll have the opportunity to stay in a starter’s routine.
Major-league teams simply don’t value a pitcher’s W-L record like they used to, and for good reason.
span of 16 starts. Over those 16 starts, Miller is 0-8 despite having given up two earned runs or fewer 11 times. It’s hard to fault him for his team’s inability to pull out a victory given how well he’s pitched.Atlanta Braves right-hander Shelby Miller is the polar opposite of Hutchison. His 2.43 ERA ranks fifth among National League starters, but Miller hasn’t earned a win since May 17 – a
These are just the two most recent example that individual wins and losses are far from the best way to evaluate how a pitcher is performing. There are better, more nuanced and context-driven stats out there for that and that’s why Hutchison is the one the Blue Jays are willing to skip for a start or two.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – – –