Nate Pearson Dominates Again in AAA; How Long Can Blue Jays Wait?
As the Blue Jays’ bullpen situation continues to get out of hand (sorry about that), and a playoff spot slips further from their grasp, prime pitching prospect Nate Pearson is throwing smoke in Triple-A out of the Buffalo Bisons’ bullpen.
So what are we waiting for?
Thursday night saw the team’s former No. 1 prospect make his 2nd appearance out of the Bisons’ pen, and he was electric, topping 100 mph, and needing just 8 pitches—6 strikes—to retire the side in order. Pearson says he’s got his full arsenal available.
According to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Pearson is slated to throw another inning on Sunday, and after that, the Blue Jays’ brass will discuss the next steps.
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The 25-year-old appeared on Sportsnet The Fan 590 radio on Friday, and told Ben Ennis and Davidi that he “felt pretty good” about his Thursday outing.
Pearson has been beset by frustrating injuries all season long, that have derailed his expected ascension to ace starter status.
The groin problem was finally diagnosed as a sports hernia. Pearson said “it stinks, but it’s just something I had to learn from,” and it just took time and patience to allow it to mend. Now he’s doing everything he can to keep it that way, and that he’s just “thankful to be back on the mound.”
Blue Jay fans would be pretty thankful if Pearson was back on the mound with the big club in a big hurry. That beleaguered bullpen is the bane of every fan’s existence once again, with Brad Hand quickly taking the mantle from the departed Rafael Dolis as the embodiment of everything that’s problematic about the ‘pen.
As a reliever, Pearson says his mindset is just to “plain and simple come out and attack hitters, from pitch 1.”
Detractors of the “let’s get Pearson up to the Show” mindset caution that he’s missed so much time with injury this season and last, that the team needs to take it slow with him. But limiting him to bullpen duties, let’s say one inning max, is already a built-in protection system for the wannabe ace starter. And it’s what the Jays so badly need if they are to stay in the playoff race.
For his part, Pearson says he’s ready to go “whenever they decide that it’s time.”
For Blue Jay fans—and hopefully, for the front office—that time is coming as early as next week.