Nate Pearson pitched in his first competitive game since October 3rd, 2021.
It seemed that he was on track to make the big league roster, and probably stay with the Jays. However, on April 5th, 2022, it was announced that the 25-year-old flamethrower had mononucleosis.
It was said that the right handed pitcher could have missed significant time, but thankfully he’ll only miss approximately two months of the season.
His season debut, a rehab stint with the Dunedin Blue Jays, went unnoticed by me and many others. Here is his line from Thursday’s game.
1.2 innings pitched, one hit, one earned run, one walk, one strikeout.
Fellow Blue Jays Nation writer, Thomas Hall, mentions his fastball velocity averaged around 95 miles per hour, while it touched a hair under 98 miles per hour.
His role upon returning:
It was noted by the Blue Jays General Manager, Ross Atkins, that the plan remains for Nate Pearson to be a multi inning reliever that can spot start. This means that the Jays will continue to try to stretch him out as a starter. Below are my thoughts on this plan.
Thoughts and opinions:
I’ve been saying it for years, but I believe the ideal location for the hard throwing righty is the bullpen. Yes his perceived “value” drastically drops if he pitches out of the pen, but I believe moving forward, it would only benefit both him and the Jays.
There’s a shocking contrast with his numbers between him pitching as a starter and out of the pen. In his 2.1 innings as a starter, he owns an 11.57 ERA and 9.60 FIP. As a reliever, he has pitched 12.2 innings and owns an ERA of 2.84 and a FIP of 3.34.
Furthermore, his fastball which has reached over 100 mph would lead to more swing and miss, something the Blue Jays bullpen drastically needs.
While having a starter that throws 100 miles an hour is rare, you have to do what’s right for the pitcher and the team, and I believe that’s the bullpen for Nate Pearson.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.