Blue Jays deciding on Saturday's starter

Club could give Hutchison extra day of rest, promote Doubront from Minors

Blue Jays deciding on Saturday's starter

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Blue Jays still haven't made an official decision about whether Drew Hutchison will start Saturday against the Rangers or if the club will instead give him an extra day of rest.

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Toronto originally expected to temporarily go with a four-man rotation because of Thursday's off-day, but the plan likely has since changed. The expectation now is that the Blue Jays will promote a starter from the Minor Leagues to start on Saturday with Hutchison then scheduled to pitch the following day.

Hutchison struggled early during a recent start against the Rays, but he survived long enough to allow three runs over five innings. There's a line of thinking that he would be best served pitching on an extra day of rest before taking the mound again.

A spot in the Blue Jays' rotation became available when right-hander Scott Copeland was optioned to the Minors after a disappointing outing against the Orioles. If Toronto dips into its system for a starter, left-hander Felix Doubront likely becomes the logical choice.

Doubront's six shutout frames

Doubront has made eight starts for Triple-A Buffalo this season and has a 2.85 ERA over 41 innings. He last pitched for the Bisons on Saturday and was tentatively scheduled to throw again Friday, but instead, Toronto could push him back a day and have his next outing come against the Rangers.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons didn't get into specifics when asked about Saturday's starter prior to the series finale against Tampa Bay on Wednesday. Gibbons said he needed to have a conversation with general manager Alex Anthopoulos before a final decision was made.

Doubront has spent parts of five seasons in the big leagues and owns a 4.78 ERA in 102 career games. If Doubront was added to the roster, he likely would have a chance to remain in the rotation until right-hander Aaron Sanchez returns from the disabled list. Sanchez is dealing with a strained lat and isn't expected to return until around the All-Star break.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.