Hutchison pitching Opening Day for Bisons

Hutchison pitching Opening Day for Bisons

ST. PETERSBURG -- Right-hander Drew Hutchison, who was the Blue Jays' Opening Day starter in 2015 but struggled most of the year, will take the ball when Triple-A Buffalo begins its season Thursday.

Hutchison will start against Pawtucket of the Red Sox's organization. He will be followed in the rotation by Scott Diamond, Scott Copeland and Wade LeBlanc.

The 25-year-old Hutchison was competing for the final spot in Toronto's rotation during Spring Training, but that job ultimately went to Aaron Sanchez. Hutchison is still expected to play a big role this season, as he joins Gavin Floyd and Jesse Chavez as potential backup starters on the depth chart.

Hutchison went 13-5 with a 5.57 ERA last season. That cost him a realistic shot of winning a job this spring, but it seems like only a matter of time before Hutchison receives another opportunity at the big league level.

Worth noting

• Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna was not available to pitch Tuesday night after he appeared in each of Toronto's first two games of the season. Osuna became the second reliever in franchise history to save the first two games of the year, joining Miguel Batista who did it in 2005.

"Back-to-back, this early, we'll back off him tonight," manager John Gibbons said prior to the game.

• When Michael Saunders hit a two-run homer during Toronto's 5-3 victory over the Rays on Monday night, he became the 11th Canadian player in franchise history to go deep wearing a Blue Jays uniform. The rest of the group includes Brett Lawrie, Matt Stairs, Russell Martin, Corey Koskie, Dave McKay, Dalton Pompey, Rob Ducey, Adam Loewen, Simon Pond and Paul Hodgson.

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.