Drew Hutchison’s Stock Rising, Kyle Drabek’s Falling

Suddenly Drew Hutchison is pitching like a man who has been in the major leagues for years and has definitely solidified his place in the Toronto Blue Jays starting rotation.  With the recent emergence of Hutch as a reliable starting pitcher the focus has turned to Kyle Drabek and Henderson Alvarez who have really struggled in their past few starts.

Hutchison’s overall stat line for the season is starting to look pretty solid overall – 51 IPs, 52 hits, 18 BB – 41 K, 4.35 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, and a 4.05 xFIP.  He will always be a guy who gives up a fair share of hits as he is around the plate so much but he has the chance to be a serviceable mid-rotation piece.

He was even better in the month of May as he posted a 7.8 K/9, 2.3 K/BB and a solid 3.65 xFIP.  These numbers have to give the Blue Jays confidence that he has potentially started to gain some confidence in his ability to pitch at the highest level.

Even more impressive is the opposing teams he had to face in May as Hutchison faced New York, Tampa Bay, Boston and Baltimore – the entire AL East division gauntlet.  Take away his start against the Tampa Bay Rays (in which gave up six earned run in only four innings pitched) and his stats start to look rather impressive.

After a pretty decent April Kyle Drabek came unglued in May and had a terrible month overall.  In 31.1 IPs he posted a weak 5.7 K/9, an ugly 7.8 BB/9 and a plain awful 5.65 xFIP.  For the season he now has a 4.65 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP and is hanging onto his rotation spot by a thread.

Check out my full post on Henderson Alvarez for more information on his season thus far.

As I have written in the past couple weeks for the Blue Jays to remain competitive in the toughest division in sports they will require at least one more starting pitcher.  The preference would be a guy you can plug in the top three spots and has shown he can eclipse the 200 inning plateau in the past.

Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow will not be given any limits given their age and experience in the big leagues and hopefully neither succumb to injury or suffer fatigue down the stretch.  After that let’s be honest, all bets are off. 

Henderson Alvarez, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison are relative babies when it comes to major league experience and innings yet they make up sixty percent of the rotation.  That is a lot of pressure for three young arms on a team suddenly looking competitive in the AL East.

This isn’t a damnation of our current rotation but more a fact of life in baseball when dealing with young starting pitchers – they do not have the experience or track record.  A team will go out of its way to control the amount of stress it puts on a young, developing arm and this might mean a reduced or pre-determined workload.

If the Jays are going to stay in this race all season they will definitely need both Alvarez and Drabek to shake off their recent struggles or replace one of them.  Drew Hutchison has literally pitched himself into the number three spot in the rotation with a stellar month of May made even more impressive by the teams he faced.


1 Response to “Drew Hutchison’s Stock Rising, Kyle Drabek’s Falling”

  1. 1 Henderson Alvarez Not Missing Enough Bats « AL Eastbound & Down Trackback on June 4, 2012 at 10:58 pm

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