Blue Jays option Hutchison to Triple-A Buffalo

Toronto to shift to four-man rotation for most of second half of August

Blue Jays option Hutchison to Triple-A Buffalo

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays will go with a four-man starting rotation through their upcoming eight-game road trip, after the club optioned right-hander Drew Hutchison to Triple-A Buffalo on Monday.

Hutchison, fresh off his second consecutive quality start in Sunday's 3-1 win over the Yankees, has performed poorly on the road this season, posting a 9.00 ERA in 11 starts away from Rogers Centre. He's the second pitcher to be optioned in two days, after reliever Aaron Loup was sent down on Sunday.

It appears the Blue Jays will use those roster spots to bolster their outfield depth, recalling Matt Hague from the Bisons on Monday to replace Loup. The club said it would announce a corresponding move for Hutchison on Tuesday, but Sportsnet.ca is reporting that outfielder Ezequiel Carrera will be promoted from Buffalo as well.

The addition of Hague fills a void on the bench, where the team has been without the services of a viable backup outfielder. Hague, 29, is hitting .348 with a .909 OPS with the Bisons this season. He leads the International league in batting average, on-base percentage (.427), RBIs (83) and hits (161).

With two days off on their upcoming 10-day road trip, the Blue Jays have the flexibility to drop a pitcher and stick to their front four starters for all eight games, allowing them to avoid pitching on extra rest. The Blue Jays wouldn't need to add a fifth starter until Aug. 29, the second game of their home series against the Tigers.

Toronto opens a two-game Interleague series against the Phillies on Tuesday before travelling to Anaheim to face the Angels for a three-game series on Friday. After another day off Monday, they'll play the Rangers for three games in Arlington.

Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.