In Major League Baseball, team officials typically hold their collective breathe when their pitchers have appointments with Dr. James Andrews.
According to the Blue Jays, the 21-year-old Hutchison will need Tommy John surgery while the 30-year-old McGowan will have arthroscopic surgery to evaluate his right shoulder joint.
For Toronto, 2012 has been a season that has seen several top pitchers miss time because of injuries. McGowan has only appeared in five Major League games since 2008 because of shoulder problems, but Hutchison was having a promising rookie campaign with a 5-3 record and a 4.60 record in 11 starts before he left his June 15 start with the elbow ailment.
Brandon Morrow, who was expected to team with left-hander Ricky Romero and give the Blue Jays a formidable top of the rotation, strained his oblique during a start on June 11. He is currently in the midst of a rehab stint and could rejoin Toronto in late August.
Kyle Drabek, another promising young arm, underwent his second Tommy John surgery in June after logging a 4-7 record and a 4.67 ERA in 13 starts.
The depleted Blue Jays rotation still features Romero, a 27-year-old left-hander who had a breakout season in 2011 (15-11, 2.92 ERA) but has struggled this year with an 8-8 record and a 5.47 ERA.
Henderson Alvarez, a 22-year-old right-hander, has given manager John Farrell a lift with a 7-8 record and a 4.47 ERA in 21 starts and 131 innings.
To give Toronto much-needed pitching depth, the club acquired 29-year-old J.A. Happ from Houston in a 10-player trade on July 21. Happ was 7-9 with a 4.83 ERA in 18 starts with the Astros but has yet to make a start for the Blue Jays, recording a 5.14 ERA in four relief appearances. Happ was hit hard in a spot start against the Rays on Tuesday, allowing four runs on seven hits in just 4 1/3 innings.
Toronto is so desperate for starters that Aaron Laffey and Carlos Villaneuva, who have spent most of their respective careers as relievers, are in the rotation.
Aside from the plethora of arms on the DL, the Blue Jays have high-ceiling starting pitching prospects like Daniel Norris, Noah Snydergaard, Justin Nicolino and Aaron Sanchez, but they are not Major League ready.
Toronto Blue Jays News – Jose Bautista is scheduled to visit another specialist about pain in his left wrist. Brett Lawrie is still suffering from an oblique strain suffered in a game this past weekend. Andrew Carpenter has elected free agency.