Before Sunday’s rubber match against the Phillies, general manager Ross Atkins had a media availability in which he provided injury updates on George Springer, Thomas Hatch, and Nate Pearson while also talking about a handful of prospects in the system who are on the team’s radar.
Here’s everything in note form…
- The team doesn’t expect Nate Pearson to miss “too much time at all” with the shoulder injury he’s currently dealing with (Uh oh! When have we heard this one before??????). Pearson made one start for the Blue Jays last Sunday, struggled, and was sent back down to Triple-A. Once Pearson is healthy, it seems the plan this time around will be to keep him down for a little longer so he can get his command and rhythm under control.
- The Blue Jays are apparently very encouraged by Alek Manoah’s showing thus far in Triple-A (duh) and his MLB readiness is something the team is discussing currently. Atkins wouldn’t put a timeline on when Manoah will get called up but he did say there wasn’t a major concern about any kind of innings limit for the 2019 first-round pick this year. Manoah only has 29 professional innings under his belt but he threw 125 1/3 between West Virginia and Rookie League Vancouver in 2019. If Manoah has another dominant Triple-A start it’s difficult to imagine they’ll keep him down any longer.
- Sticking with prospects… Atkins talked about a couple of position players in the upper-minors who have stood out to the organization early on. One is catcher Gabe Moreno, who’s killing it in Doube-A with a .455/.526/.636 slash line. Moreno was added to the 40-man roster over the off-season and could feasibly be called up to the Blue Jays at some point this season. Atkins said the organization is impressed with his approach and how consistent and mature it’s been, a similar sentiment to what was said about Alejandro Kirk last year. The other prospect Atkins talked about is Forrest Wall, who has a .796 OPS for Buffalo thus far. Though he isn’t on the 40-man, Atkins mentioned that Wall could be an elite defensive outfielder for the team eventually.
- Atkins said that Thomas Hatch, who’s currently on the 60-day Injured List, will likely be an option for the team in late May when he’s eligible to be activated. Apparently, Hatch is up to throwing three innings in simulated sessions and will be joining the Bisons in the coming days.
- Finally, there’s a George Springer update, which is that he’s running. The next steps here for Springer will be to work his way up to a nine-inning game. Apparently a rehab assignment is a possibility this time around. Let’s hope they get it right this time!