MIAMI - After 10 days of nothing but bad news, the Blue Jays got definitive word Friday that Drew Hutchison will not require surgery to repair a sprained ligament in his pitching elbow.
Even that positive turn comes with the caveat that the young righthander probably will be unavailable until September.
"He's on a no-throwing program for four to six weeks," GM Alex Anthopoulos said. "If it's six weeks before he throws, then starts up again and gets ready, we're probably looking at September. The good part about it is that when you're talking about a UCL (ulnar collateral ligament), you're usually talking about Tommy John surgery, and you lose a year. In Drew's case it's not going to happen. At least we know he's not going to be out that long, but it is going to be the bulk of '12 that he's gone."
Anthopoulos has been told to expect Hutchison at 100% once he's fully rehabbed.
"He'll be the same," said the GM. "It'll be 100%. Too many people feel strongly about it. Nothing is guaranteed, of course. There can always be a setback. But we think Drew will be fine."
CHAVEZ ON SUNDAY
The latest hitch in the ongoing rotation shuffle is that pitcher Jesse Chavez will now start the series finale against the Marlins on Sunday, saving Henderson Alvarez for the Red Sox on Monday. Aaron Laffey and Ricky Romero will pitch the other two games in Boston.
"(Chavez) will be on his regular fifth day," manager John Farrell said. "We wanted to get Henderson against the Red Sox. A little bit more of a sinkerballer in that ball park. The comeback could be, well he's put an awful high number of balls in the air, but he's pitched well against them previously and we're going to go in with what we feel are our best three-starter matchups against Boston."
PAULEY IN THE PEN
The Blue Jays welcomed the latest newcomer, David Pauley, into the fold Friday. Pauley was picked up on waivers from the Angels this week.
"Pauley is a guy who's been successful in the big leagues," Farrell said. "He's been a very solid multi-inning reliever. He's had some starts in the past. At this point in time, our view of him is to be in that middle reliever group."