Right-hander Drew Hutchison is back with the Tigers on a new minor league deal after electing free agency last week, as indicated on the team’s transactions log at MLB.com. Detroit designated Hutchison for assignment on May 11, and he elected free agency a couple days later. He’s already made one appearance with the team’s Triple-A club, and with so many injuries on the big league pitching staff, it’s feasible he’ll get another opportunity in the Majors before too long.
The 31-year-old Hutchison showed some promise with the Blue Jays early in his career, but he’s settled into a journeyman career, having now pitched with five big league clubs (Jays, Phillies, Rangers, Pirates, Tigers) plus another four Triple-A affiliates for big league clubs (Twins, Dodgers, Angels, Yankees).
Hutchison has experience both as a starter and reliever, though the Tigers used him exclusively out of the ’pen earlier this year. In 10 games, he tallied 15 2/3 innings of 4.60 ERA ball with a 20.8% strikeout rate against a bloated 16.7% walk rate. In 497 2/3 frames at the MLB level, Hutchison has a 4.96 ERA, a 20.2% strikeout rate and an 8.3% walk rate.
The Tigers have Eduardo Rodriguez, Casey Mize, Matt Manning, Tyler Alexander, Michael Pineda and Spencer Turnbull all on the injured list at the moment, while breakout lefty Tarik Skubal exited his last start after taking a 100 mph comebacker off his leg. With their entire Opening Day rotation, minus Skubal, now on the injured list, the Tigers have given looks to Alex Faedo, Beau Brieske and tonight’s starter, Elvin Rodriguez. Hutchison’s May 19 appearance with Triple-A Toledo only lasted 1 2/3 innings, but he did start that game, so it’s possible the Tigers will continue building him up to give them an additional option to make some starts while the rest of the rotation mends.