After leaving last night’s start in the first inning with what was described as right elbow soreness, Blue Jays right-hander Drew Hutchison was placed on the disabled list this morning with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament.
According to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, Hutchison will be shut down for the next two weeks before being re-evaluated. Blue Jays manager John Farrell told Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca that all signs point toward him avoiding Tommy John surgery, but he will likely seek a second opinion to rule out a possible tear of the ligament.
Hutchison, 21, made his major league debut on April 21 and posted a 4.60 ERA and 49/20 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings prior to the injury.
The Blue Jays recalled right-hander Robert Coello from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace Hutchison on the active roster, but he is expected to pitch out of the bullpen. Carlos Villanueva pitched four scoreless innings in relief last night against the Phillies and could be a candidate to take Hutchison’s spot in the rotation. The 28-year-old right-hander made 13 starts with the Jays last year, but also missed some time with a forearm strain.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.