Drew Hutchison is scheduled to return to the Blue Jays’ starting rotation on August 29

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Drew Hutchison, the Blue Jays’ 2015 Opening Day starter, was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo on Monday afternoon. But it was just a strategical move with Toronto facing a light schedule of eight games in 10 days and the 22-year-old right-hander is due to return to the starting rotation August 29 against the Tigers, according to John Lott of Canada’s National Post.

Hutchison pitched 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball Sunday in the Blue Jays’ big 3-1 win at Yankee Stadium, moving to 12-2 on the season. But it’s mostly been a frustrating year for the major league sophomore, who holds a 5.06 ERA in 131 2/3 total frames. He’s been given MLB-best run support.

Hutchison has failed to complete six innings in 15 of his 24 starts and has allowed four or more runs in 12 of his 24 starts, but the Toronto offense has backed him with nearly seven runs per outing.

Athletics and Mariners to begin the 2019 regular season in Tokyo

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners will begin the 2019 regular season in Japan, in the Tokyo Dome.

The series will mark the third time that the A’s will begin their season in Japan, first doing it in 2008 against the Red Sox and then again in 2012 against the Mariners.

This is just the latest of Major League Baseball’s moves to expand the the game internationally. In addition to those previous series in Japan, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened their season in Australia in 2014 and the Dodgers and Padres will play a series in Mexico City this May. There has likewise been talk of the Mets playing a series in London, though those details have not yet been worked out. Obviously the World Baseball Classic represents the league’s effort to broaden the global scope of the once national pastime.

Get ready for early morning baseball, folks.