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Pirates option Drew Hutchison, opening 5th starter battle

Pittsburgh Pirates Photo Day Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

The Pirates have announced that they’ve optioned Drew Hutchison to the minors. I’d assumed Hutchison was the big favorite for the fifth starter job, and the Pirates also send the next-most-obvious candidate, Steve Brault, to the minors yesterday. That leaves Tyler Glasnow and Trevor Williams as candidates for the job. At this point, it doesn’t seem impossible to me that the Pirates could seek someone from outside the organization; as Jim Rosati points out, the Nationals released Vance Worley today.

“We've seen some flashes of the guy we thought we were getting when we traded for (Hutchison), with the crispness of the fastball … the sharpness of the breaking ball and a very effective changeup,” Huntington told reporters, including Rob Biertempfel. “Unfortunately, we've also seen too much of the fastball catching too much of the plate and pitches not being sharp.”

Hutchison did himself no favors with a miserable performance this spring. He allowed six or more runs in all of his last three starts, including a nine-run showing yesterday. He continues to look like a very bad player to have targeted in a trade — although, again, maybe the Pirates know something we don’t. I just keep that phrase in my clipboard for whenever the topic of Hutchison comes up.