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Drew Hutchison sent to bullpen, Marcus Stroman to start Friday at home

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Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The beleaguered Drew Hutchison is no longer a starter and will be pitching out of the bullpen "for the time being," according to Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker, who appeared on the Fan 590 this afternoon.

Hutchison, who just turned 25, has not had the breakout season that was anticipated of the team's Opening Day starter. He has struggled mightily at times, especially on the road and against right-handed batters. Over his last two starts for Toronto (one at the Rogers Centre and one at Fenway Park) Hutchison had given up 12 runs on 15 hits (and 5 homers) over 8.1 innings, striking out just 5.

Assuming Mark Buehrle is healthy (or healthy enough to start) and Marcus Stroman's strong outing on Saturday, the Blue Jays now have six starting pitchers so they don't necessarily need to run Hutchison out on the mound every five days anymore. And since Stroman cannot necessarily be relied upon for lengthy starts each time out, having a stretched-out long guy like Hutchison out in the bullpen is important insurance for John Gibbons, especially since Chad Jenkins, the other long man in the 'pen, has not pitched since September 4 (for the Bisons).

With Buehrle pitching tonight, the rotation will be as follows going forward: against the Braves, David Price will start on his regular rotation Wednesday, and Marco Estrada will start on Thursday. Stroman will be making is triumphant return to #the6ix on Friday when he starts against the Red Sox in Toronto, and R.A. Dickey will throw on Saturday, according to Barry Davis. The rotation beyond Saturday has not been confirmed but it will have a lot to do with how well Buehrle pitches today and how his arm feels on Saturday. Since the beginning of August, Buehrle had only started on four days' rest just twice. Resting for seven days before this start and before his prior start.

Assuming no changes to the other parts of the rotation, Price is set to face the Yankees at home in the opener next Monday, followed by Estrada and Stroman in the three-game series. The Blue Jays will have another chance to rejiggle their rotation on the offday on the 24th.

UPDATE

Well, scratch my "long man for Buehrle and Stroman" idea...

Lugnuts Season Over

The Toronto Blue Jays' minor league season is now officially over, as the West Michigan Whitecaps beat the Lansing Lugnuts 14-5 in game 3 of the three-game Midwest League Eastern Division series in downtown Lansing Monday night. The Lugnuts grabbed an early lead in the first, and kept it close with the Whitecaps through the 6th before Colton Turner was tagged for five runs in the 7th.