Blue Jays – Nate Pearson being optioned to Triple-A is the unfortunate business side of baseball

Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Shushkewich
11 days ago
The Toronto Blue Jays announced a flurry of roster moves earlier today, activating relievers Erik Swanson and Jordan Romano from the injured list and bringing them back from triple-A where both right-handers were rehabbing. To make room on the roster, the Jays designated long-man Mitch White for assignment while also optioning Nate Pearson down to triple-A.
The Jays had a few different moves they could have pulled off to add Swanson and Romano given the current bullpen structure, deciding to DFA the former Dodgers swingman while also sending down the organization’s former top prospect to make room for the two bullpen stalwarts who started the campaign on the IL.
The space was limited down in the relief corps and the only move the club could have made outside of sending down Pearson or designating White was to option Bowden Francis instead. This would allow the former Brewers prospect to continue starting games down in Buffalo with Yariel Rodriguez taking his spot in the rotation, with Alek Manoah lurking about in Buffalo as he continues to try and find his 2022 form.
By keeping the starter over Pearson in the big leagues, manager John Schneider will likely platoon the Cuban right-hander with Francis for at least a few more starts, allowing the 27-year-old to get some more innings under his belt without depleting the bullpen with multiple relievers to cover the distance, using Francis instead.
For Pearson, it is the unfortunate business side of baseball that has the Florida product heading back down to Buffalo. It’s similar to last season when the Jays designated Jay Jackson on the last day of the regular season to give Wes Parsons a spot on the roster to make the start instead of Gausman to preserve him for the Wild Card series. It wasn’t because Jackson had performed poorly, he was just the odd man out in the equation.
Turning attention back to Pearson, the 6-foot-6 starter turned reliever has a minor league option at his disposal, keeping him contained within the farm system instead of exposing him to the waiver wire similar to White. While Francis, Génesis Cabrera, and Tim Mayza all have options as well, the club decided to keep the two left-handers in the big leagues as well as Francis for the time being. The option, combined with the fact that the rest of the Jays’ bullpen has been finding success on the mound, meant Pearson was similar to Jackson in that he too was the odd man out with Romano and Swanson set to return.
It’s unfortunate for Pearson, as the Jays reliever has been having an excellent start to the campaign with the Blue Jays.
iThrough 6 1/3 innings, the hard-throwing JUCO product has allowed just four hits, three walks, and zero earned runs while striking out nine and limiting opponents to a .174 batting average.
Pearson has routinely sat in the high 90s with his fastball, breaking triple digits on numerous occasions, and is finding success with limiting the damage on the base paths even if his command falters at times due to the uptick in velocity. His offspeed pitches were also working out well, as his slider and curveball had generated 35.3 and 50.0 whiff percentages respectively while opposing hitters have generated just a 16.7 hard-hit percentage on his slider, which he uses at a 34.2% rate.
He is still a bit wild at times, evident by his 4.3 BB/9 through the limited sample size, but this was still a strong showing for the right-hander who has struggled with consistency and injuries at the big league level that have seen him transition away from starting games this late in his career.
For now, the Blue Jays bullpen gets two of their biggest weapons back in the mix amongst a surging Trevor Richards, Yimi García, and Chad Green, all of whom own a sub 3.00 ERA with a minimum of seven outings.
Should an injury befall one of the bullpen members in the near future, you can bet that Nate Pearson will be one of the first pitchers to get a chance to return to the big leagues amongst the crew down in Buffalo.

Tyson Shushkewich is a contributor at the Blue Jays Nation. He can be followed on X or Instagram at Tyson_MLB or reached via email at Tyson_MLB@hotmail.com

Check out these posts...