This season has been one that Blue Jays pitcher Nate Pearson would most likely want to put behind him.
Beginning the season on the injured list, the right-handed flamethrower was a potential option for the fifth spot in the rotation before the injury put him on the sidelines. He would begin the season in Buffalo before being called up to the major league roster on May 9th, making the start against the Houston Astros that night. The start would not go well for Pearson, as his control was all over the place and he would only last 2.1 innings before being pulled, surrendering three earned runs while walking five batters and not striking out a single batter.
Pearson would be optioned back down to the minors a couple of days later and would continue to struggle in AAA before being placed on the IL again on June 22. He would be diagnosed with a sports hernia, a sigh of relief for the former Jays top prospect who was dealing with multiple groin injuries this season with what seemed to be like no possible end in sight. He would return to action on August 14th and would only make one more start before being transitioned to the bullpen down in AAA, a smart move given his injury history this year.
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Nate Pearson is finding a groove at the right time this season after dealing with injuries all season.
The Blue Jays would call him up once again once the rosters expanded on September 1st and has pitched solely out of the pen since then. His first three outings were a bit rough, surrendering three earned runs with two home runs through three innings of work, however, the right-hander has turned over a new leaf since his September 11th outing, allowing only one earned run over his last six appearances while striking out 10 batters compared to five walks and four hits.
He has not allowed a hit in his last three appearances and has returned to the dominant form that fans were hoping to see. His 5.25 ERA may give off a bad impression given his rough patches earlier this year but when he throwing well, his ability on the mound can be a real difference-maker whether it be as a starter or a reliever.
A confident Nate Pearson would do a lot of good in the Blue Jays bullpen, as the club has really depended on a core of four relievers up to this point in Adam Cimber, Tim Mayza, Jordan Romano, and Trevor Richards (although he did give up a home run last night to Giancarlo Stanton) to get them out of the tough situations or pitch when the game is close.
If Pearson can join the ranks and continue to punch out opposing batters and keep runs off the board, it would go a long way in regards to how Charlie Montoyo and Pete Walker can utilize their bullpen as the season comes to a close. Every game is a must-win at this point and the best relievers need to be pitching and adding Pearson to this list would be a huge benefit.
With his combination of a fastball that can reach 100 mph and wipeout slider, Pearson will most likely be back in the rotation conversation next season but for now, the Blue Jays need him to be an effective reliever in the late game situations and it appears that he is starting to find a groove at just the right time.