Prior to Tuesday's series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Toronto Blue Jays have formally announced that closer Jordan Romano has been activated from the injured list, where he had been since July 29 with lower back inflammation. In a corresponding move, relief pitcher Nate Pearson is being sent back down to Triple-A Buffalo.
With the (re)addition of Romano, the Blue Jays bullpen now features each of Romano, Jordan Hicks, Erik Swanson and Tim Mayza as lethal back-end options. The Jays 'pen has been one of the best in the majors this season and with Romano's return, it just got even better.
Blue Jays activate Jordan Romano, option Nate Pearson
For the 30-year-old, the 2023 campaign has been yet another solid one for him. Not only did he make his second consecutive All-Star Game, but he currently boasts an impressive 2.79 ERA and 151 ERA+ through 44 outings and 42 innings of work. Along the way, he has notched 28 saves and has 10.9 K/9. Not every outing has been smooth for him, but he continues to be one of the best closing pitchers in the American League, and his rejoining the Jays bullpen is huge.
In Pearson, the Blue Jays are once again sending the former top prospect back down to join the Buffalo Bisons. Things had gone great for him throughout the month of May, when he posted a 1.80 ERA and .204 average against in 11 outings. However, he had three outings in June where he surrendered two or more runs and that's where the wheels began to fall off.
Thanks to an 8.71 ERA in June and 4.63 ERA in July, Pearson's earned run average on the season currently sits at 5.18. He has continued to be a flamethrowing option that is good for his fair share of strikeouts, but he's walking 3.6 batters per nine innings and has been allowing home runs too frequently to be trusted with any sort of high-leverage innings on the big league squad.
For what it's worth, Pearson has been fantastic this year throughout his multiple tenures in Triple-A. In a total of 11 appearances, he has a 1.50 ERA with 25 strikeouts in just 12 innings.