The Toronto Blue Jays demoted rookie right-hander Kyle Drabek to triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday a mere two days after manager John Farrell said such a move had not been discussed.
Zach Stewart was promoted from double-A New Hampshire to take his spot on the roster.
Drabek, 23, was roughed up for eight runs in four-plus innings during Sunday’s 14-1 loss to Boston, an outing which apparently sealed his fate.
Overall Drabek was 4-5 with a 5.70 ERA in 14 starts.
Before the game Sunday Farrell said “there has been no discussion of sending Kyle to triple-A or to suggest that what he’s dealing with in his own maturity right now was leading to that.”
But the numbers told a different story, as over his last five starts, he had just one win, allowing 22 runs on 30 hits and 18 walks over 22.1 innings.
Monday on Prime Time Sports, Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos told Jeff Blair the decision to demote Drabek was made Monday night after he talked with Farrell and pitching coach Bruce Walton.
“It’s time to give Kyle a bit of a break,” he explained. “It’s just a matter of getting back on track. His stuff is fine.”
Anthopoulos added Drabek’s comments to the media following Sunday’s poor outing indicated the recent struggles were beginning to wear on the young right-hander.
“Kyle hasn’t failed before,” he said. “He’s trying to find himself a little bit.”
And while admitting Drabek will have to learn how to do a better job of controlling his emotions, Anthopoulos pointed out that another Blue Jays pitcher once had to make a similar adjustment early in his career.
“(Ricky) Romero was the same way when he first came up,” he said, adding Boston Red Sox starters Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester went through rough patches early in their own careers. “(Drabek) just needs to go back down, and have some success. We expect to see him back here.”
As for the decision to promote Stewart over Brett Cecil, Anthopoulos said despite a “unbelievable” start from Cecil Monday for triple-A Las Vegas in which the lefty pitched a seven-strikout, complete-game shutout while touching 94 m.p.h. on the radar gun, the Jays are waiting for him to show similar form in a “string of starts.”
Stewart, he explained, has pitched well in his past three starts for New Hampshire, perhaps better than his numbers would suggest.
Stewart, 24, was 4-3 with a 4.39 ERA in 12 starts for New Hampshire
With files from Mike Cormack