Toronto Blue Jays: Kyle Drabek Proves He Deserves 5th Spot in Rotation

Bill FordCorrespondent IIIApril 11, 2012

TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 10:  Kyle Drabek #4 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch during MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox April 10, 2012 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Brad White/Getty Images)
Brad White/Getty Images

Toronto Blue Jays right-handed pitcher Kyle Drabek fought long and hard throughout spring training to earn the fifth spot in the starting rotation.

In Tuesday night's 7-3 win against the Boston Red Sox, Drabek proved that he deserved to be awarded that spot with a strong and solid performance on the mound.

Drabek gave up only one run on three hits and struck out four batters in five and 1/3 innings. He had good command of his pitches into the sixth inning when he walked two, gave up a double and a sacrifice fly, which led to the run.

Last season, Drabek appeared to become easily frustrated and rattled on the mound when faced with difficult game situations. He spent a great deal of time working on his pitching mechanics and his patience during the offseason and into spring training.

All of that work has clearly made a difference. Drabek is a different pitcher in 2012. Even giving up a run and a few hits with a two-run lead and two men on base, he maintained his composure on the mound.

Assisting Drabek to have a successful night was the offensive and defensive performance of the team. He received good run support with RBI singles from Brett Lawrie and Adam Lind.

After struggling a bit in 2011, the 2012 season may prove to be his breakout season in Major League Baseball. Tuesday night was just a glimpse into what he is capable of doing for Toronto. It was his first outing in the regular season, and he's just getting warmed up.

Blue Jays manager John Farrell should be quite impressed not only with Drabek's performance on the mound, but with his ability to consistently improve and deliver.

Pay close attention to Drabek this season and watch as he continues to improve and dominate.