BUFFALO, N.Y. — Tuesday night in Buffalo was supposed to be a new beginning for Thomas Hatch, then it rained. That’s been a recurring theme for him in 2021.
The talented right-hander earned the spot to start in Alek Manoah’s place with a strong run of late at Triple-A. Hatch put up a 2.73 ERA as a reliever last season, but the organization has always viewed him as a starter, and one who could be more than just a depth piece. At this point, he just needs an opening to get rolling.
When Hatch returned home to ramp up his training this past offseason after his honeymoon, he tested positive for COVID-19. Hatch had only mild symptoms, but by the time he was cleared and got back to where he wanted to be physically, that cost him about a month. When it came time to push for a rotation spot in Spring Training, Hatch hit the IL with a right elbow impingement late in camp and later dealt with side tightness as he rehabbed, so he didn’t see consistent Minor League innings until June.