* RHP Drew Hutchison makes his 44th career start Monday afternoon at Yankee Stadium against the New York Yankees. It’s the least amount of starts a Blue Jays opening day starter has taken into opening day since Todd Stottlemyre in 1990. ….
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Letters of Intent
By Bob Elliott
Drew Hutchison has made 43 starts in the majors.
His 44th comes Monday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
They call it opening day.
Hutchison is the perfect symbol to start for the Toronto Young Jays, who will have six rookies on their opening day roster:
What every contender needs: balance.
The record is nine green horns in 1977 when the Jays were an expansion franchise. We’d like to tell you that six is the most since when ever … but neither the Elias Sports Bureau or the Jays are certain of that … only that nine is the record.
Is six rookies too many for a team expected to contend?
Is Hutchison the perfect man to start Game 1 of 162 for a team trying to win when the president and the general manager are in the final year of their contracts?
We’ll soon find out.
What we do know is that Hutchison has the least amount of experience of any Blue Jays opening day starter since Todd Stottlemyre kicked off the 1990 season 25 years ago.
And there were extenuating circumstances as to why Stottlemyre was given the ball in the opener … his 35th career start.
There had been a work stoppage that spring so when the season began the Jays opened with a one-game series in Arlington against the Texas Rangers and the next afternoon played the home opener at the SkyDome.
Jays management gave Dave Stieb the option:
Stieb picked the home date and beat the Rangers 2-1, a day after Stottlmyre lost 4-2 to Ryan.
By starting Hutchison, R.A. Dickey’s string of opening-day starts ends at two.
The least experience by an opening-day Blue Jays starter?
Mark Bomback made his 27th career start in 1982 the Jays’ sixth year when they went 67-95.
The next greenest and leanest in terms of starting experience: Jim Clancy made his 44th in 1981 (37-69 record in the strike-marred season), the same as Hutchison.
The opening day starter with the most experience was Jack Morris, who made his 444th in 1992 at Tiger Stadium.
Next were Roger Clemens (417th) in 1998, Bill Singer (296) in 1977, David Wells (245) in 2000 and David Cone (230th) in 1995.
Youth brings excitement, but will it bring success?
Opening day starts
Seven _ Roy Halladay 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.
Four _ Dave Stieb 1983, 1985, 1986, 1991,
Three _ Jimmy Key 1987, 1988, 1989.
One _ Bill Singer 1977, Tom Underwood 1979, Mark Bomback 1982, Todd Stottlemyre 1990, Juan Guzman, 1994, David Cone 1995, Erik Hanson 1996, Roger Clemens 1998, David Wells 2000, Esteban Loaiza 2001, Chris Carpenter 2002, Shaun Marcum 2010.
Opening day debuts
Name, Year IP H R ER BB SO
Bill Singer 1977 4.1 11 4 3 3 5
Dave Lemanczyk 1978 3.2 7 5 5 4 3
Tom Underwood 1979 1.2 3 9 3 4 1
Jim Clancy 1981 6.0 5 2 1 3 1
Mark Bomback 1982 0.1 6 6 6 1 1
R.A. Dickey 2013 6.0 5 4 3 4 4
Drew Hutchison 2015 ?