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.
A’s right-hander Sonny Gray had to be scratched from his last turn in the starting rotation Thursday afternoon against the Blue Jays because of back spasms. But all is well with the Oakland ace …
MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports that Gray, who made it through a 25-pitch bullpen session on Saturday at Camden Yards, has been cleared to start Monday in the Athletics’ series finale versus the Orioles.
Felix Doubront will step back one day and face off against Clayton Kershaw in the A’s series opener against the Dodgers on Tuesday night in Oakland.
Gray, 25, owns an exceptional 2.06 ERA, 0.959 WHIP, and 136/40 K/BB ratio in 161 2/3 innings (23 starts) this season with the A’s.
He is headed toward some serious Cy Young Award consideration.
Jose Bautista jumped all over this Luis Severino offering in the third inning Sunday in Toronto …
That’s the 28th homer of the year for Bautista and it capped off a three-run third inning for the Jays.
As play opened Sunday, the Yankees held a 1 1/2 game lead over the Blue Jays in the AL East.
The Athletics will need a fifth starter, either on Monday or Tuesday, after optioning Aaron Brooks back to Triple-A Nashville. Felix Doubront is expected to get that start, MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports.
Sonny Gray was scratched from his scheduled start on Thursday against the Blue Jays due to back spasms. He’s expected to return to the rotation either on Monday or Tuesday. Doubront would get the other day. Gray threw a 25-pitch bullpen on Saturday and didn’t report any issues.
Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran drilled a pinch-hit, three-run home run off of reliever Aaron Sanchez to put the Yankees up 4-3 over the Blue Jays in the eighth inning of Friday night’s game in Toronto. It would prove to be the game-winning hit.
The win was of great importance to the Yankees, as the AL East rival Jays were on an 11-game winning streak, having picked up 7.5 games on the Yankees in the standings since shortstop Troy Tulowitzki made his debut with his new team. Friday’s win helped the Yankees reclaim first place over the Jays in the AL East, at least temporarily, with a 63-51 record.
Beltran, 38, has surprisingly turned in a solid year, batting .267/.328/.459 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI.