TAMPA, Fla. -- The Blue Jays made their second round of cuts Thursday morning, as top pitching prospect Conner Greene and right-hander Wil Browning were reassigned to Minor League camp.
Greene's time at big league camp didn't last long, but he still made a strong impression and remains a big part of Toronto's long-term plans. He consistently hit upper 90s velocity with his fastball, and he didn't allow a run in his two innings of work this spring.
The 20-year-old Greene is ranked as Toronto's No. 2 prospect by MLBPipeline.com and is expected to begin the season at Double-A New Hampshire. By sending him to Minor League camp, the club can prepare him as a starter instead of seeing the promising righty fight for innings on the big league side of Spring Training.
"With an arm like that, [Greene's] shown he can pitch," manager John Gibbons said a day before Greene was sent down. "He'll control that. If he's really good, I'm sure they'll bump him [up a level]. If not, we'll wait until he's good and ready.
"But I've been very impressed. I heard a lot of things about him. I had never seen him pitch before he got here. He's got a great arm. That's pretty obvious. And he looks like he knows what he's doing, too. He's not just heaving it, you know?"
Third time not the charm
Blue Jays right-hander Drew Hutchison turned in his third outing of the spring (second start) in Thursday afternoon's 11-4 win over the Yankees, and for the most part, he looked pretty good. But there were some issues in his third and final inning of work. Hutchison allowed a one-out double to the gap off the bat of Dustin Fowler and compounded his issues with a free pass to Pete Kozma.
The Yankees took advantage of that situation later in the inning when Carlos Beltran hit an RBI single to left. Michael Saunders then made a throwing error to third, which set up another run that would score on a grounder by Alex Rodriguez. In the end, Hutchison allowed two runs -- one earned -- on three hits and two walks.
With the exception of the double by Fowler, there wasn't a lot of hard contact, but the two free passes were something in particular that Hutchison expressed regret about following the 2 2/3-inning outing.
"I feel like I'm in a good place," Hutchison said. "I thought I threw the ball really well today, I thought I was real crisp the first two innings. The only thing that wasn't positive was the walk there in the third, but I thought I made good pitches and commanded my sinker real well today."