Drew Hutchison

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Andrew Scott Hutchison

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Drew Hutchison made his major league debut with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012.

Hutchinson was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 15th round pick in the 2009 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Joel Grampietro and made his pro debut the next summer. Hutchison started 2010 with the Auburn Doubledays of the New York-Penn League before earning a promotion to the Lansing Lugnuts of the Midwest League. He was 1-1, 3.00 in 10 starts for Auburn and allowed a .201 average, and 1-2, 1.52 with a .191 average allowed in 5 starts for Lansing. He pitched a combined 68 2/3 innings, giving up only 51 hits and striking out 63. He made it through three levels in 2011, after beginning the year by dominating opposite batters in Lansing to the tune of a 6-2 record and a 2.62 ERA in 14 starts. He was promoted to the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League, where he continued to pitch well, going 5-3, 2.74 (.194 opponent average), and finished the year with 3 winning starts for the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern League (1.20 ERA, .192 opponent average). Combined, he was 14-5, 2.53, with 171 strikeouts in 149 1/3 innings. His outstanding season placed him at the top of a crowded group of Blue Jay mound prospects. He was second in the Toronto chain in ERA (behind Nestor Molina), led in strikeouts and tied Casey Lawrence for the most wins. He tied for 5th in the affiliated minors in wins. Baseball America rated him as the #13 prospect in the Florida State League, between Sebastian Valle and Tyler Thornburg.

Hutchison began the 2012 season back at New Hampshire and pitched well in his first three starts, going 2-1, 2.16 with 12 Ks and 3 walks in 16 2/3 innings. He was called up to Toronto on April 21st, making a start against the Kansas City Royals. He gave up 5 runs in 5 1/3 innings, including a pair of homers to Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon, but was bailed out by his offense, which scored 6 runs in the first 6 innings, and then added 3 insurance runs after he left to make him a 9-5 winner. On May 6th, he gave up Albert Pujols' first American league homer, following a dreadful early-season slump; Albert's two-run blow in the 5th was key to handing his Drew his first career loss, 4-3 to the Los Angeles Angels. While not putting up overpowering numbers, he pitched well as a member of the Jays' rotation, going 5-3, 4.66 in his first 10 starts. On June 15th however, he had to leave a start against the Philadelphia Phillies after only making 9 pitches because of soreness in his right elbow. He was the third Toronto pitcher to be injured in a week, following Brandon Morrow and Kyle Drabek. He was placed on the disabled list and ordered not to throw for two weeks in order to allow a sprained elbow ligament to heal. In the end he did not pitch again in the majors that season as he had to undergo Tommy John surgery.

As a result of the surgery, Hutchison only made 10 minor league appearances in 2013, going 0-4, 4.84 and pitching 35 1/3 innings while he worked on gaining back his arm strength. He was fully healthy when spring training rolled around in 2014 and won a job as a starter with the big league club by consistently flashing a 92 mph fastball. Manager John Gibbons, decided to use him as the second starter, following R.A. Dickey, betting that the youngster's fastball would look even better following the fluttering pitches of the Jays' knuckleballer. He thus had the honor of starting the Jays' second game of the season, facing the Tampa Bay Rays on April 1st. Adam Lind gave him an early lead with a three-run homer in the top of the 1st and he tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings to be credited with his team's first win of the year. He was then 0-3 over his next 7 starts before recording the first shutout of his career on May 16th, when he defeated the Texas Rangers, 2-0, on 3 hits and outduelling Yu Darvish in the process. It was also the first complete game of his career. He pitched another great game on August 6th, when he defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 5-1, allowing only one hit in 8 2/3 innings, that being a solo homer by Chris Davis in the 2nd inning. He finished the season with a record of 11-13, 4.48 in 32 starts, logging 184 2/3 innings and striking out 184 batters, very encouraging numbers for a first full season in the majors.

Hutchison was the Jays' opening day starter in 2015, being selected ahead of veterans Dickey and Mark Buehrle and he was successful, defeating the New York Yankees, 6-1, on April 6th. he was undefeated through his first 8 starts, although that was a bit of a freak, as his ERA was 6.17, and he had escaped with a no-decision in games in which he gave up 7, 5 and 6 runs in fewer than 5 innings in April. He lost to the Los Angeles Angels, 4-3, on May 20th, but came back with his best game of the year, pitching his second career shutout against the Chicago White Sox on May 25th. In that game, he gave up only four singles and no walks while striking out 8. The fact that he needed fewer than 100 pitches to complete the game was another very positive sign, as he had struggled with high pitch counts on a number of occasions until then. His strange season continued as he was winning consistently, but not pitching well or deep into games. When he defeated the Oakland A's, 4-2, on August 11th, he managed to pitch into the 8th inning for the first time since his shutout of the White Sox. His record was 11-2 at that point, but with an ERA of 2.68 at home but 9.00 on the road. He notched another big win on August 16th, when he defeated the Yankees, 3-1, to prevent them from sweeping a three-game series at the Rogers Centre and narrow their lead back to a half-game over the Jays. Yet, the following day, he was sent down to the AAA Buffalo Bisons because he was considered the weak link in the starting rotation, belying his 12-2 record. The Jays were concerned about his 5.06 ERA and his inability to pitch well on the road. However, his stay in the minors was brief, as he made only one start for Buffalo before coming back to start in front of a sellout crowd at the Rogers Centre on August 29th. He was excellent again, giving up 1 run in 7 innings, and continued to benefit from some amazing run support as the Jays won, 15-1. He finished the season at 13-5 in spite of a 5.57 ERA in 150 1/3 innings. He was not used in the postseason given his up-and-down performance.

In 2016, he went into spring training having to win a job in the Blue Jays' starting rotation. He pitched well, but so did the others in competition with him, including Gavin Floyd on a comeback attempt. On March 27th however, he was hit in the back of the head by a throw by catcher A.J. Jimenez, who was trying to cut down a base stealer. He was having another good day, pitching scoreless ball in the 5th inning when he had to leave the Grapefruit League contest, although he did not suffer any serious injury. He did not make the team, being assigned to Buffalo where he was 6-5, 3.26 in 18 starts. He was called up to Toronto to make a one-off start on April 24th, which he won, 6-3, over the Oakland A's, then made a couple more appearances in early July. He was 1-0, 4.97 in 3 games when on August 1st, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in return for Francisco Liriano, Harold Ramirez and Reese McGuire.

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