While trades and new additions to the Toronto Blue Jays team have brought a lot of stability and clear insights into each player’s role this upcoming season, other players are still not sure about where they will end up. One of them is former top prospect, Nate Pearson.
Always on the starting pitcher track throughout his years in the minors, when Pearson finally made his major league debut in 2020, fans thought that he would fill one of the holes in the starting rotation. Unfortunately, it didn’t appear to be as seamless as most of us hoped it would be. Nate seemed to struggle throughout his debut year in the starting rotation and was then primarily moved to the bullpen in 2021, with injury troubles keeping him off the field for an extended period of time last year.
As we look forward to the beginning of the baseball season, the Florida native’s role this year is not all that clear. He could try the starting rotation again (although there doesn’t seem to be much room for him at the moment), stick it out in the bullpen again, or continue to work out the kinks in Buffalo’s rotation.
Going into his third year in MLB, the Blue Jays staff still need to decide if Nate Pearson will start the season in the rotation, the bullpen or the minors.
Pearson’s first year in the Major Leagues was met with much excitement, as his debut was something most fans had been waiting quite some time for. Unfortunately, like many rookies, it wasn’t necessarily an easy transition. Nate started four games in 2020, earning a 6.61 ERA and 1.53 WHIP through 16.1 innings before finishing the regular season on the IL.
The 2021 season saw Pearson move more to a bullpen role, which seemed to be where he had more success. Last year, he finished the season with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP in 12.2 innings when he worked out of the bullpen.
When you look at his total two years in MLB, the difference in his starting pitcher numbers and bullpen numbers are significant, with a 7.23 ERA and 1.8 WHIP in the rotation, versus a 2.51 ERA and 1.32 WHIP as a reliever.
Taking a short trip down to the minors isn’t a bad option for a while if it gives him the opportunity to develop into the starting pitcher that we all hope he can be. It could actually be better for him in the long run, although I’m sure we would all miss seeing his 100 mph fastballs in Toronto.
Pearson knows that no matter the injury or level he may be playing in, his future is to be in the Blue Jays starting rotation. “I think I’ve always been a starting pitcher, it’s all I’ve done,” Pearson said in a recent interview. “Obviously I went into the bullpen last year, but I’ve got starter stuff.”
One thing is clear. His future as a major league pitcher is bright and he will continue to grow and improve no matter where he starts the season.
Where do you think Nate should start this year?