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Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Drew HutchisonKim Klement

Starting pitcher Drew Hutchison is being banished to the bullpen.

Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons confirmed the move here on Tuesday afternoon before the Blue Jays played the first game of a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves.

"If we need a spot start here and there he [Hutchison] can still come out and do that," Gibbons said. "He's built up pretty good.

"But it's pretty obvious he's had some struggles on the road. And [Marcus] Stroman looked good the other day. And we want to keep him rolling."

It is a disappointing comedown for Hutchison, 25, who was Toronto's opening day pitcher in New York against the Yankees.

But the righthander has not been able to fulfill the expectations the team had in him this season even though his overall record – 13-4 with a 5.33 earned run average – does not appear that untoward.

But it is his home and away split that is alarming and forced the Blue Jays hand.

Pitching at home in Rogers Centre, Hutchison is 11-2 with a 2.91 ERA. On the road he is 2-2 with a bloated 9.44 ERA.

The final straw came on Wednesday in Boston when Hutchison failed to get out of the fourth inning, allowing six runs off six hits in a game the Red Sox would go on to win 10-4.

"You take it like anything else," Hutchison said of the move into the bullpen. "Obviously I want to do everything I can to help us win. Going forward, just go out there and pitch and pitch to my capabilities."

With Toronto in first place and in the driver's seat to win the American League East with just three weeks left in the regular-season schedule, the club feels it needs to go with its best five-man rotation.

That would now include Stroman, who made a successful season debut on Saturday against the Yankees after recovering from knee surgery in March.

Stroman will now essentially replace Hutchison in the starting staff.

As it unfolds for this week, Mark Buehrle will start Tuesday night for Toronto against the Braves, followed by ace David Price on Wednesday.

Marco Estrada will be moved up a day and start the series finale on Thursday.

One reason for that is to rule out the possibility of Stroman having to run the bases against the Braves on his surgically repaired knee. With National League rules in place for the series, pitchers are required to bat.

Stroman will make his second start of the season Friday at home against the Boston Red Sox to be followed by R.A. Dickey on Saturday.

Hutchison, as fierce a competitor as there is in the Blue Jays locker room, said there is no time to feel sorry for himself at the turn of events.

"You don't have time for personal things like that," he said. "I need to be ready to go tonight if my name's called. I'm not going to feel sorry for myself or anything like that. I'm not going to make excuses.

"You just have to be ready to go."

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