Drew Hutchison will start opening day for the triple-A Buffalo Bisons, manager Gary Allenson announced Tuesday.
Hutchison, who was the Toronto Blue Jays’ opening day starter last year, went 13-5 (11-2 at home) with a 5.57 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 30 big-league appearances (28 starts) in 2015.
Despite a strong showing at spring training, the emergence of Aaron Sanchez as a starter was one reason Hutchison was optioned late last month.
Hutchison made one appearance with the Bisons in 2015. The 25-year-old righty is joined by lefty Scott Diamond, righty Scott Copeland and lefty Wade LeBlanc in the Bisons’ rotation.
As Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi pointed out Monday, it’s possible the Blue Jays will call upon Hutchison’s services at some point during the season. Outfielders Dalton Pompey and Darrell Ceciliani, plus left-handed reliever Chad Girodo and utility player Andy Burns are among the other Bisons with upside.
The Bisons open their season Thursday against the Pawtucket Red Sox.