The Blue Jays might be getting another weapon back sooner than later, as Steve Pearce is set to begin a rehab stint in New Hampshire tonight with the Fisher Cats.
There hasn’t been a lot of news on Steve Pearce‘s progress lately, but fortunately the silence was broken with some good news on Thursday. Pearce is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats, who are at home for the next four days, prior to an upcoming road trip.
Pearce is scheduled to hit third in the lineup tonight, and is slated to be the DH. Pearce has mostly played left field with the Blue Jays this season, but also has experience at first and second base.
The 34 year old was signed to a 2 year, 12.5 million dollar deal this offseason, and was brought in to split time between first base and left field. Due to the emergence of Justin Smoak, Pearce has been largely relegated to left field, when he’s been healthy and in the lineup anyway.
In 83 at bats with the Blue Jays, Pearce is slashing .205/.256/.373 with 4 home runs and 10 RBIs. Like many of his teammates, the utility player struggled with the bat in April, and was just starting to heat up at the plate when he was injured on May 16th, and has been on the DL ever since.
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The timing of his return could be interesting, as the Blue Jays have just lost Devon Travis for a yet to be determined period of time. With Pearce’s positional flexibility, it’s possible the Jays could explore using him at second base, especially now that Justin Smoak has a foothold on the first base job.
Otherwise, Pearce will battle for playing time in left field with the likes of Ezequiel Carrera, Chris Coghlan and potentially others as the season wears on. It’s possible the Blue Jays may look for additional help in left field, but that could very much be determined by the performance, health, and position of the Florida native.
The Fisher Cats play their next 4 games at home before an off day, and then a 10 day road trip. Assuming there are no set backs, there’s a good chance that Pearce will return to the big league club as soon as Monday, though no indication has been given from the team just yet.
Pearce’s health was a question mark entering the season, however, his troublesome forearm has not been an issue thus far. His calf was what landed him on the DL, and hopefully he’ll be able to put the issue behind him, and establish himself in the Blue Jays’ lineup.
The opportunity is laid out for him at the moment, so hopefully he can stay healthy and perform to his potential. When he’s right, he’s another solid bat in a potent lineup, and that’s never a bad thing.