Drew Hutchison

Drew Hutchison

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


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.

Blue Jays demote Opening Day starter Drew Hutchison to Triple-A despite 12-2 record

Drew Hutchison Reuters

In one of the surest signs yet that MLB teams are (smartly) relying less on win-loss records to evaluate pitchers than ever before, the Blue Jays have demoted Opening Day starter Drew Hutchison to Triple-A despite a 12-2 record and league-best .857 winning percentage.

Hutchison has received incredible, MLB-best run support all season, with the Blue Jays scoring nearly seven runs per game in his starts, which is how he has the best winning percentage in the league with a 5.06 ERA and .287 opponents’ batting average. Two weeks ago against the Twins he got a “win” while allowing seven runs in five innings.

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. He has no business being 12-2, except the Blue Jays score a ton of runs nearly every time he takes the mound.

Of course, while Toronto’s decision-makers are smart enough to realize the lineup’s great production has nothing to with Hutchison’s pitching ability and most major-league starters could go 12-2 if given the same run support, it sounds like he may be back in the rotation after one or two turns. In other words, the enlightenment–and the move to a four-man rotation–may be temporary.

Video: Kendrys Morales avoids tag at the plate with a nifty slide

Kendrys Morales

Royals DH Kendrys Morales made a ridiculous slide to avoid being tagged by Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin on a play at the plate in the top of the first inning on Friday night.

With runners on second and third and two outs with the Royals already leading 1-0, Ben Zobrist sent a Drew Hutchison offering on the ground to right field. Eric Hosmer scored easily, but Jose Bautista came up firing to the plate. Martin received the toss and dove to his left to an attempt to tag out Morales, but he missed. Morales halted his momentum with a pop-up slide, stood upright, and touched the plate for the Royals’ third run of the night.

Not a bad way to support Johnny Cueto in his debut with the Royals.