4 Blue Jays that need to step up for Toronto to stand a chance in 2023

With the Blue Jays by no means assured a playoff place come October, which players need to step up their game during the final eight weeks of the regular season?

Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays
Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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Nate Pearson

As a collective, the Blue Jays bullpen is doing just fine. They're seventh in the Majors in ERA, tied sixth in WHIP and tied 11th in batting average.

However, as we recently wrote, the available talent alludes to the bullpen being capable of even more. And in some respects this is encapsulated by Nate Pearson.

Pearson's potential as a top prospect, led to the Blue Jays selecting him in the first round of the 2017 draft. However, it's been anything but plain sailing for him up to this point of his professional career.

In the end, it took a decision to move the 26-year-old from the rotation to the bullpen, for him to finally show what he was capable of. Along these lines, the 2023 campaign started off extremely well for him after he was called up on April. 24.

Through his first 13 appearances out of the bullpen Pearson was excellent, recording a 1.59 ERA and 0.941 WHIP in 17.0 combined innings. Then the cracks started to appear, beginning in New York versus the Mets.

Regardless, the breaking point came in Seattle, when the Odessa, Florida native allowed three hits and four earned runs, only registering one out in the process. The result was he blew the save and lost the game for the Blue Jays.

At this point, Pearson was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to work on some adjustments. He returned soon after and looked good for a couple of outings, before having another nightmare against the Orioles.

As a result, the righty was optioned back to Triple-A at the beginning of August. He figures to remain in Buffalo longer this time around, to work more on his mechanics and give him renewed confidence.

Understandably, you can make the case the Blue Jays bullpen is strong enough without Pearson. However, he has the ability that, if honed correctly, can enhance the unit and make them even more dificult to face.