Drew Hutchison is an interesting pitcher to watch. He only has 26 games at the Major League level heading into June 25th. And with only four games at the AA level in 2012 before being called up to the Majors, it sometimes feels as if we are watching this young pitcher develop in front of us instead of developing while in the relative obscurity of the minors.
He has, in limited samples, shown an ability to be a very good starting pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. But with most of his success coming on the road instead of at home, most people - fans and analysts alike - have reached the conclusion that he has problems pitching at the Rogers Centre. While some suggest it’s the park’s hitter-friendly nature, others highlight that it could be something in his makeup.
Consider, though, that of his five games at home (compared with 10 on the road), he has pitched three day games. He has yet to pitch a day game on the road. In those day games, his longest outing was just 4 and one-third innings.
In his two night games at home, however, he has a no-decision and a win. In his no-decision on April 24th, he pitched 5 innings of two-run ball vs. the Orioles with nine strikeouts. The Blue Jays lost that game 11-4 when the bullpen surrendered 9 more runs. It’s possible there is more of a day versus night split issue at play rather than home and away.
The sample sizes at home are far too small to truly reach any meaningful conclusions. Perhaps tonight’s game versus the Yankees will let us know a little more about what Drew can do. It will be a night game, at home, versus the third-place Yankees whom he will be facing for the third time this season. That will give an equal number of appearances at home in the day vs. night split as well as see how he does against a good team that has seen a lot of him this season.
Perhaps a new story will begin if he is successful. If he isn’t, then maybe there is truth to the idea that Hutchison has trouble pitching at the Rogers Centre.