The Toronto Blue Jays have announced the recall of pitcher Nate Pearson from the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.
Once dubbed as the club’s top pitching prospect, the 26-year-old right-hander will get his first shot in the Majors since the 2021 season.
Having faced numerous setbacks due to injury and performance since being selected in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft, Pearson has started the 2023 Triple-A season very well, posting 16 strikeouts, five walks and an ERA of 2.16 over 8.1 innings pitched as a reliever.
Pearson will be filling in for fellow righty, Adam Cimber (shoulder), to whom Toronto placed on its 15-day injured list on Monday, as he deals with a right rhomboid strain.
Cimber has fared alright in his third season with the Jays, posting a 4.50 ERA with six strikeouts in 10 innings of relief work through a team-high 11 appearances for Toronto this year.
Pearson, who was listed as the No. 5 prospect in all of baseball just two years ago, had a dreadful 2021 and a worse 2022 season. Between illness, COVID and various injuries, his put-outs per nine innings dropped to a career-low, despite chucking 100 MPH on the regular.
He has appeared in 17 career games for the Blue Jays while starting five of them. Pearson has an inflated 5.18 ERA through 33 Major League innings pitched.
His last appearance was on October 3, 2021.
“I have to get back to what made baseball fun for me,” Pearson said back in spring training. “It was kind of hard going through all of the injuries and battling through that. But I realized why you play the game. When you’re healthy, it makes all of the rehab and everything worth it. When you get back healthy and do what I was able to do today, facing these guys, it was just awesome. It was a blast.”
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Should Pearson rediscover his top form, he may be in the running to usurp a couple of struggling relievers, as Anthony Bass (7.36 ERA) and Yimi Garcia (7.20 ERA) have been anything but consistent for Toronto through 22 games this season.
The Blue Jays return home from New York on Monday and will square off against the Chicago White Sox in the first of a three-game series from Rogers Centre at 6:00 PM central time. Chris Bassitt will take to the mound as George Springer and Danny Jansen take a rest. Bo Bichette will bat leadoff for Toronto, while Alejandro Kirk will serve as the catcher.
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