The former Baltimore Oriole Steve Pearce underwent forearm surgery to repair a flexor mass on his right forearm near the conclusion of last season. Pearce inked a two-year deal with the Jays during the offseason and just made his debut in left field yesterday during Grapefruit League action play.
Pearce has put up intriguing numbers in previous campaigns but has never surpassed 102 games in a season. The utility player’s best season to date was in 2014 with the Orioles where Pearce hit .293 with 21 home runs in only 383 plate appearances.
The importance of Pearce being healthy and productive is the Blue Jays not only need his bat but also need him to cover first base or left field. This, in turn, reverts Justin Smoak or Melvin Upton back into a bench role which is beneficial if the Blue Jays are going to be beasts in the east.
The 33-year old has the chance to be the steal of the offseason free agent class as the Blue Jays signed him for a very affordable $12.5 million for two seasons. Pearce who was drafted by the Twins, Red Sox and Pirates owns a career slash line of .254/.333/.441 with 66 home runs in 569 career games.
Pearce has a real opportunity to be the x-factor in the Blue Jays lineup if he finds every day at bats under new manager John Gibbons.