Hutchison expected to start Friday in Seattle

Hutchison expected to start Friday in Seattle

OAKLAND -- Right-hander Drew Hutchison is expected to start Friday's series opener in Seattle, but before that news can be confirmed, he'll need to get over his current bout with the flu.

Hutchison was originally scheduled to pitch Thursday afternoon against Oakland, but he was scratched from that outing after getting sick. He did arrive at the Coliseum on Thursday morning and had a light catch before taking an early flight to Seattle.

By all accounts, Hutchison was feeling much better than he did earlier this week and all signs point to him starting against the Mariners, but that's also assuming he feels okay overnight and going into Friday's game.

"He came in and played catch," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Thursday morning. "He's feeling much better so hopefully he'll be good to go tomorrow. If not, definitely Saturday he should be good."

If Hutchison isn't able to make the start then right-hander Marco Estrada instead will get the call on Friday night. Estrada would be able to make that start on regular rest because Toronto had an off-day on Monday.

At the very latest, Toronto would need to have Hutchison back for Saturday's game. Left-hander Mark Buehrle pitched vs the A's on Tuesday and while he's next in line after Estrada he wouldn't be able to start Saturday afternoon on three-days' rest.

Hutchison is 9-2 with a 5.19 ERA. He has been solid at home with a 2.21 ERA, but has struggled on the road with a mark of 8.81.

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.