4 Blue Jays spring training overreactions after first week of action

It's that time of year when we come up with our most insane takes

Toronto Blue Jays Workout
Toronto Blue Jays Workout / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages
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Nate Pearson looks cooked

Nate Pearson is a 2017 first round draft pick in the Jays’ organization who needs to have a solid showing in spring to earn one of those final spots in the bullpen. He has been dogged by injuries and disappointment recently, even leading to trade speculation this past winter. He made his spring appearance following Chad Dallas in the first game of the exhibition slate against a mostly “starter-less” Phillies lineup. Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, Alec Bohm, Kyle Schwarber - among others - were not in this lineup.

It didn’t matter, though, as the right-hander yielded two home runs, including one shot to Scott Kingery, a disappointment of his own in the Phillies organization and one who has a very small chance of playing important innings for Philadelphia this season. Down 3-0, a long fly out was coaxed off the bat of Rodolfo Castro before Aramis Garcia lined a single to left field. The final piece of misery on the Nate Pearson cake was sealed when former Blue Jay Whit Merrifield laced a double to deep right center. Out came John Schneider and that was an early exit for the Florida native.

In all fairness, Pearson partially redeemed himself with a scoreless ninth inning against Atlanta on the first Saturday in March. He is best known for his high velocity and was still touching the upper 90s but needs to control his offerings better. Pitching to a 4.85 ERA over 35 games, Pearson once again battled inconsistency as he shuttled between the majors and minors last season. His walk rate skyrocketed, particularly in the second half of 2023. Given his injury history, it's something to keep an eye on. This is a pitcher who has seen it all. The question is can he find any level of consistency? Fans should monitor his outings this spring as he looks to add another pitch this spring.