Blue Jays pick Hutchison for fifth starter

Blue Jays pick Hutchison for fifth starter

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have selected the contract of right-hander Drew Hutchison from Double-A New Hampshire following Thursday's game and he will make his Major League debut on April 21 at Kansas City.

To make room for Hutchison on the 25-man roster, left-hander Evan Crawford, who appeared in two games with the Blue Jays, was optioned to New Hampshire. Toronto also transferred Jesse Litsch from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL to make room on its 40-man roster.

"Drew's path to the Major Leagues has been relatively quick," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said about the 21-year-old. "That's a combination of talent, composure and emotional maturity as a young pitcher. He joins some other young starters that are here."

Hutchison won the fifth spot in the rotation over Jesse Chavez and, to a lesser extent, Joel Carreno, despite making just six starts above Class A in his career. He will join a staff whose oldest members are Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow at 27, while Kyle Drabek is 24, and Henderson Alvarez just 22.

In three starts at New Hampshire this season, Hutchison went 2-1 with a 2.16 ERA over 16 2/3 innings. Hutchison's stock rose considerably last year after rising through the Blue Jays organization -- pitching in three different levels -- and finished the season with a 14-5 record and 2.53 ERA. He struck out 171 batters over 149 1/3 innings, while walking just 35.

"We like the strike-throwing ability and his overall stuff and the ability to attack both left-handers and right-handers," Farrell said. "We are looking forward to seeing his debut and hopefully a long fruitful career starting for him on Saturday."

The right-hander was ranked as Toronto's No. 7 prospect by MLB.com before the start of the season.