The Blue Jays have repeatedly refused to include 23 year-old starter Drew Hutchison in any deal for Cubs’ ace Jeff Samardzija. Last night, Hutchinson showed the baseball world exactly why he is so coveted.
Drew Hutchison made his major league debut on August 21, 2012 (four months before his 22nd birthday) despite never pitching at the Triple-A level. After starting 10 games (58 innings pitched) and netting a 4.66 ERA, Hutchison was scheduled to make his 11th start against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 15. After inducing a ground ball to second base from Jimmy Rollins and striking out Juan Pierre, Hutchison was pitching to Hunter Pence when he felt a pop in his elbow.
After initially being diagnosed with just a sprained ulner collateral ligament (an injury that doesn’t require surgery), Hutchison underwent Tommy John surgery in August and didn’t see any major league action upon his initial return. Though he came back in August 2013, Hutchison spent the remainder of the season playing for the Triple A Buffalo Bisons.
This year, Hutchison has been determined to make the most of his second stint in the Majors.
After throwing 5.1 shutout innings in his first start of the year, Hutchison allowed six runs in just 3.1 innings against the Yankees in his next outing. Hutchison has had his share of ups-and-downs since then. He has allowed four or more runs in a game thrice since his April 6 start against the Yankees, but threw his first career shutout against the Texas Rangers on May 16. Last night, though it wasn’t a shutout, Hutchison looked like the ace Blue Jays hope he can be.
Although he didn’t get credit for the win, Drew Hutchison helped the Blue Jays to their twelfth victory in their last fourteen games. He allowed just three hits and no walks in seven scoreless innings of work against the reigning American League champion Detroit Tigers. He struck out seven, including Miguel Cabrera–twice.
Thanks to an equally impressive start by Anibal Sanchez (7 IP, 2 H, 0 R), Hutchison was denied his fifth win of the year, though he did lower his ERA to 3.50. Hutchison’s ability to match Sanchez in putting up zeros proved beneficial when the Blue Jays scored five times in the top of 9th inning. Though Steve Delabar nearly gave the game away in the bottom half of the frame (allowing three runs in 0.2 innings), Casey Jannsen was able to come on and shut the door on the rallying Tigers.
Along with Mark Buehrle, the best pitcher in the AL through the first two months of the season, and R.A. Dickey, a former Cy Young Award winner, Hutchison has a chance to make 2014 a very special year for the Toronto Blue Jays. At just 23 years of age, Drew Hutchison has shown all season long that he has what it takes to be a dominant starter on a winning ball club, a fact that was apparent to anyone watching him pitch last night.