This hasn’t been a good week for the Blue Jays’ starting rotation.
After losing Brandon Morrow to an oblique strain and Kyle Drabek to a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, now it appears Drew Hutchison could be headed for an extended absence.
According to Mike Wilner of of Sportsnet Radio The FAN 590, Hutchison left tonight’s start against the Phillies in the first inning due to right elbow soreness. He threw just nine pitches before exiting. The young right-hander apparently said that he “heard a pop” while on the mound, which sounds eerily close to how Drabek described his injury earlier this week.
Hutchison, 21, made his major league debut on April 21 and has a 4.60 ERA and 49/20 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings through his first 11 starts.
Aaron Laffey replaced Hutchison in tonight’s game and is a candidate to take his spot in the starting rotation. Robert Coello and Joel Carreno are among the other possibilities.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.