Blue Jays 2024 Season Projections — Chad Green and Nate Pearson

Photo credit:Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Prasad
30 days ago
The Toronto Blue Jays exit spring training and enter the regular season with high optimism from the upper limbs of their roster to succeed. The situation of arms has not changed much, and the club is expected to have depth in its pitching staff in all aspects. 
Starting pitching, without a doubt, is Toronto’s highest point of strength, just above a quality offence if it’s activated and performing to its standard. The team’s starting pitchers posted a 53-44 record last season, an impressive result considering they leaned mostly on four arms. Opening Day Alek Manoah was demoted in June after struggles during the first few months of the season and Hyun Jin Ryu didn’t return from Tommy John surgery until August.  When the absence of these arms, Toronto’s bullpen was tasked with managing innings of work to complete those outings. 
The team’s bullpen will again be leaned upon early in the season in 2024. Ace Kevin Gausman has made just one start in Grapefruit League play and can’t be expected to go deep into a game just yet. Closer Jordan Romano and set-up pitcher Erik Swanson are both on the Injured List to start the year, along with Manoah, who’s been replaced in the rotation by swingman Bowden Francis.
Veteran reliever Chad Green is one of those key players in the bullpen that the Blue Jays are going to lean on in April. Green had season-ending surgery in 2022, which put him into recovery throughout most of 2023. He joined the Blue Jays in September and picked up three wins in 12 appearances. Green is a mid to late-inning reliever, often acting in a set-up role or an option before the setup. In his short term of service with Toronto, he recorded 16 strikeouts, only walking four while giving up seven earned runs. 
Green has had a full off-season to regroup and rest towards a lengthy year ahead. His surgery has seemed to be effective based on some of the generic metrics. His fastball has been up to 95-96mph while his changeup sits at 87mph, and his curveball sits at 85mph. He’s a strike-thrower, commands his fastball well with good use of his junk, and is able to blow it by hitters with confidence. Green may be the replacement for Jordan Hicks, which would see him as the backup closer when Romano isn’t available.
This season, with health in mind, Green is projected to work between 40-45 innings of mid-late relief with an ERA below 4.00 and a walk-strikeout ratio separated by about 20 more strikeouts than walks. 
Nate Pearson is another important bullpen piece for the team right now. He has been a work-in-progress for some time. However, this year poses some expectations if at full health. His past few years were filled with battles of injury and uncertainty. Throughout spring training, he’s shown some promising traits. Pearson looks calculated on the bump, focused in from the stretch, and consistent in his fundamentals. 
He’s been in eight spring training games, pitching 9.2 innings striking out 11 and walking four. This is somewhat of a carry-over of momentum from last season. It is hard to believe that Pearson chucked 42.2 innings in 2023, facing 182 batters. In 2023 he recorded a 4.85 ERA with 43 strikeouts and 18 walks. His role would be similar to Chad Green, more of a late-game reliever with set-up implications. Pearson could also be considered as a back-up closer. His only issue was pitch options, but he does employ a fastball, slider, and curveball. 
The four-seam fastball has been up to a healthy 98mph, however the velocity is not a finisher in the league. His fastball represents a 61.9 percent usage rate compared to his slider, which is used at 23.9 percent, and the curveball at 14.2 percent. His heater dependency resulted in a 51.9 percent hard-hit measurement which is 14 percent more than the off-speed and breaking pitches. Thankfully, Pearson is adding a splitter to his repertoire and may split his reliance among the off-speed options. 
In 2024, Nate Pearson’s projection is 55 innings with around 40 strikeouts, 20 walks, and a sub 5.00 ERA. He needs a big season to stay in the team’s plans moving forward. 


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