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Drew Hutchison goes from frontrunner for 5th spot to no-brainer to being demoted

So it was inevitable today that Drew Hutchison was either going to placed on the 15-day DL with a fake injury such as shoulder fatigue or sent to the minors outright.

Hutchison with a third straight disaster of an outing in allowing nine runs on 10 hits put the organization in a tough spot for a player due $2.3 million this season who they have had all intentions of being the No. 5 starter despite the so-called ‘open competition’.

Neal Huntington had publicly said spring training numbers are one of the least determining factors for players earning a roster spot but it would have been such a bad look for the organization to hand Hutchison a roster spot right now that they had no choice but to send him to the minors.

Hutchison allowed 21 runs on 27 hits over his final three spring training starts. The way his fastball over the top of the plate was consistently getting tagged raised major concerns from the Pirates and the struggles to make a big pitch when dealing with adversity in an inning had been a knock on Hutchison while with the Blue Jays and was a problem in spring training.

Working with Hutchison to be able to avoid the big multi-run innings is something the Pirates will make a top a priority in trying to fix as they feel some of issues are mental in that he gets rattled too easily.

The problem is Hutchison’s a 26 year old borderline Major League pitcher where there’s not a lot of room to grow. This is not some 22, 23 year old prospect with upside. Hutchison turns 27 in August.

It’s rarely a good sign when a pitcher starts 32 games as a 23 year old, 28 the next season as a 24 year old and then hits his mid-20’s and can’t land a rotation spot in the Majors for the second straight season.

The decision for the 5th starter spot from the start should have been what’s best for Tyler Glasnow’s development.

If Glasnow’s going to take any strides, it’s going to be starting the season in the Majors even if he takes some lumps. Going down to Indy for a couple months isn’t going to do anything. He has to figure out against Major League hitting whether he can utilize a third pitch. Glasnow nor the Pirates learn none of that against minor league hitting.

When it comes to the rotation, the bigger storyline for the Pirates going into the season is that they likely didn’t upgrade their rotation enough among the top-4 starters than Drew Hutchison looking like he belongs in double-A.


Jared Hughes Released

— The Pirates tendering Jared Hughes at $2.85 million this past off-season was a surprising decision and it’s now come back to haunt the Pirates as the team has released Hughes today after a horrible spring. With the budget Neal Huntington gets from ownership, every dollar counts on building the roster and those dollars could have been allocated elsewhere.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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