People may find it a little surprising to find his name here, but Nate Pearson has made it to this list with his strong pitching performance ever since his promotion over a month ago. Having struggled to stay healthy the past few years, Pearson finally had a clean bill of health heading into the 2023 season. However, there wasn’t a spot available for him on the Jays’ Opening Day roster, so he had to begin the season in Triple-A Buffalo while he continued to work hard and waited for his chance.
That chance came at the end of April when Jays’ reliever Adam Cimber was placed on the IL with a right rhomboid strain. Pearson was given the call to take his place and has not looked back since then. With every appearance, he has gotten stronger and stronger, looking more and more like the pitcher everyone had envisioned him to be the moment he stepped into the Jays’ organization. In twelve appearances thus far, he has only given up three earned runs along with 11 hits, one home run, five walks and 18 strikeouts in 16 innings for a 1.69 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and an ERA+ of 249.
More importantly, manager John Schneider has started using Pearson in more high leverage situations as he got more confident and comfortable along the way. In response, he has continued to show dominance in those situations as well. With his convincing performance, he has certainly made sure that there was no way he was going to lose his spot in the big leagues anymore, as he remained on the roster even when Cimber was back from the IL.
Although Pearson may no longer be the front-end-of-the-rotation starter that he was pegged to be initially for his major league career, he appears to have finally found his home in a comfortable spot with the Jays bullpen. With that role, it enables him to deliver his nasty pitches with great efficiency and become the much-needed flamethrower in the backend of the bullpen for the Jays this year and hopefully many years to come.