Now that the season is over, the crew at Blue Jays from Away will take a look at the Blue Jays one by one and review how each player’s season went, whether he met expectations (or not) and look at how he fits into (what we think of) the Blue Jays’ plans going forward.
Drew Hutchison is a perfect case of how difficult it is to succeed and stick at the major league level. The big league world is competitive, not just between teams but between players in the same organization. On a middling team that was developing its prospects, Drew Hutchison could have been a perfectly serviceable fifth starter but when the Blue Jays kickstarted their playoff run in 2015, a question mark or developmental player like Hutch was just not good enough on a team trying to win now.
Since returning to action following 2012 Tommy John surgery, Hutchison has performed well in the spring and the Blue Jays gave him ample opportunity this year, despite knowing full well that earning a spot in the rotation was unlikely. He threw 19 1/3 innings (a spring high for him) with a 3.26 ERA, eight walks and 11 strikeouts, generally mediocre numbers. Assigned to Buffalo, he had a great outing in his first start, striking out nine in five innings and taking a loss despite giving up one run. He didn’t give up a hit (but walked four and struck out five) in his second outing, allowing just one run but was hammered in his third start, giving up five runs on 10 hits (perhaps by trying to stay in the strike zone too much).
After that third start, Hutchison was recalled by the Blue Jays and started on April 24 against the Oakland Athletics. He gave up two solo home runs but was generally solid, picking up the win and throwing 5 2/3 innings with two runs against on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts. He was promptly sent back to Buffalo having completed his spot start.
Hutchison was strong in Buffalo, going 6-2 with a 2.50 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 72 innings, limiting Triple-A hitters to a .603 OPS before another cal up to the major leagues. In back-to-back starts in early July (possibly to showcase him to teams looking for a trade), Hutchison threw one inning of relief, giving up two runs against the eventual AL champs the Cleveland Indians and allowed two home runs in an otherwise strong start against the Detroit Tigers, walking one and striking out seven with three runs against in six innings.
Hutch made three more starts for Buffalo before he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Francisco Liriano deal. With Pittsburgh, he made seven starts with their Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis before getting a September call up and pitching mostly out of the bullpen. With Pittsburgh, Hutchison threw 11 1/3 innings with a 5.56 ERA, 10 strikeouts and three walks.
In 2016, the Drew Hutchison era ended for the Toronto Blue Jays and we wish him luck with Pittsburgh into the 2017 season.
Drew Hutchison was traded to Pittsburgh.
Drew Hutchison was traded at the trade deadline to Pittsburgh for Francisco Liriano and two prospects. Prior to that, he spent most of his time in the minors, making only three appearances in Toronto – two spot starts and one relief appearance.
On April 24th he threw 5.2 innings and allowed 2 earned runs (both home runs) on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts. He was optioned back to Buffalo two days later.
On July 2nd he was called up again to provide an extra bullpen arm after the 19-inning game on July 1st. He threw the 7th inning and allowed two runs on three hits, two of them doubles, in a 9-6 Blue Jays win against Cleveland. In a July 7th start facing Detroit, Hutchison pitched six innings and allowed three runs on six hits (and two home runs), one walk and seven strikeouts.
In his time with Toronto, his ERA was 4.97 in 12.2 innings with a WHIP of 1.34. He allowed four home runs, for a ratio of 2.84 per nine innings. He had twelve strikeouts compared to four walks.
Hutch went on to make five relief appearances for the Pirates and one start, pitching to a 5.56 ERA in 11.1 innings and a 1.59 WHIP.
Regular Season Grades
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