by Amy Moritz
Just about an hour before Tuesday's game against Syracuse, the Buffalo Bisons got the call. Yank starting pitcher Thad Weber. He was being recalled by the Toronto Blue Jays after Josh Johnson went on the disabled list with a strained right forearm.
That meant the bullpen tried to cobble together the outing, complete with second baseman Mike McCoy throwing the ninth inning to become the first positional player to pitch for the Bisons at home since 2007.
The result was a predictible, yet disappointing, 13-4, loss to the Chiefs.
But help is on the horizon.
After the game, manager Marty Brown said that Kyle Drabek would be joining the Herd on Wednesday, possibly backing up Drew Hutchinson who will make his second start for the Herd, coming off his Major League Rehabilitation stint.
Drabek and Hutchinson were two of three Toronto Blue Jays players to have Tommy John surgery last season.
"I don't even know if I'm at liberty to say but Kyle Drabek is coming up tomorrow to back up Hutch," Brown said. "He's been throwing real well in Double-A. I've had him before so I know what to expect. Even though he's coming off surgery it will be nice to get him here."
Drabek went 0-1 in two starts with Double-A New Hampshire with a 3.38 ERA. He gave up three runs on four hits in eight total innings of work with three strikeout and one walk.
Hutchinson made his Bisons debut Aug. 9. He gave up six runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings to take the loss. He is the scheduled starter for Wednesday's game, which kicks off a key three-game series with the Rochester Red Wings. The Herd trails Rochester by 3 1/2 games in the IL North Division race.
"I'm not real positive about knowing what Hutch is going to bring to the table," Brown said. "His first outing was a little rough in the third. I liked what I saw but it's not quite the same guy. Hopefully he can build on these days off in between starts and we can go out and see him a little more down in the zone, a little more crisp with his fastball command and go from there.
"But it will be nice to get Kyle here. I've had Kyle before, like I said. He's a bulldog."