On September 1st, the Toronto Blue Jays will be able to expand their roster and carry 28 players instead of the regular 26 that are currently on the squad. For many teams across the league, the addition of two extra players can be a major benefit, whether it be an extra arm in the bullpen or on the bench, as well as teams currently not in the playoffs being able to call up a prospect or two to see how they perform on the big league stage.
The club currently features 13 pitchers, two catchers, five infielders, and six outfielders as per the Blue Jays active roster page and will be able to add two more players next Wednesday when the team finishes their series against the Baltimore Orioles before facing the Oakland Athletics and then the New York Yankees.
Here are some potential options for the Blue Jays to call up from the minor leagues when the rosters expand:
Nate Pearson – RHP
No longer the Blue Jays #1 prospect, right-hander Nate Pearson has fallen on hard times in 2021 due to poor performance and a sports hernia injury that has kept him sidelined for most of the season. His lone start in the big leagues against the Houston Astros back in May and did not go well, lasting 2.1 innings and struggling with his command, issuing five walks on his way to three earned runs with zero strikeouts.
In the minor leagues for most of this season, Pearson has appeared in 10 games (six as a starter) and currently owns a 4.40 ERA with 13 walks and 39 strikeouts. The hard-throwing pitcher is currently in the mix to join the Blue Jays as a potential bullpen piece given his injuries this season, a move that he experienced last campaign after dealing with a separate arm injury back in August.
There is the possibility that the Jays could keep Pearson in the minors to round out the season if the club finds themselves out of playoff contention over the next week or so but that has yet to be determined.
Thomas Hatch – RHP
Another pitcher who missed the start of the year due to injury, Thomas Hatch is healthy and has been pitching well in AAA this season, appearing in 13 games and throwing to a 3.47 ERA through 57.0 innings with 15 walks and 60 strikeouts. He had one spot start back in late July against the Boston Red Sox but was tagged for seven hits and three earned runs in just 3.2 innings of work, striking out four in the process.
The front office has kept Hatch stretched out as a starter in the minors but he could be a potential long man in the big leagues if the Jays are looking for another arm in the pen. Ideally, he would remain a starter in AAA and be called upon if an injury befalls one of the current members of the rotation but could also be a solid bullpen arm to finish out the campaign.