Blue Jays make another round of roster cuts, Nate Pearson will not make the team
By Eric Treuden
Just minutes after news broke that Jay Jackson was released, ending his bid for an Opening Day roster spot, the Toronto Blue Jays have made another round of Spring Training roster cuts.
This round could be the most significant yet, as this provides a huge amount of clarity to who will gain the last bullpen spot for the Jays.
Here is the list of names who have been reassigned/optioned to the minors. Players who are "reassigned" are not on the 40-man roster, while players who are "optioned" are.
Catchers: Stevie Berman, Rob Brantly
Pitchers: Luke Bard, Junior Fernández, Bowden Francis, Matt Peacock, Trent Thornton, Nate Pearson, Zach Thompson, Thomas Hatch
The biggest storyline here is undoubtedly the optioning of Nate Pearson. The former top prospect has been impressing in camp as he looks to secure the final spot in the bullpen. Once Jackson had been released, the first thought was that one of Pearson or Zach Pop would secure the spot. With this announcement, Pop seems to be sitting pretty.
Pearson, 26, has made six appearances in Spring Training, striking out 13 and walking five in 8.1 innings of work. His fastball continued to reach triple digits but it seems that for now, the plan is for him to start the year in Triple-A as he continues to rebuild his value.
The only other notable move here is Thompson's optioning. The 6-foot-7 righty was in camp as a swingman option and according to Arden Zwelling in Friday's broadcast "is going to be the club's No. 6 option who will be the first to receive a call if there's an injury."
This is especially interesting because this small comment seems to suggest that Mitch White is not to be viewed as a potential starting pitcher. Either that, or he has fallen down the starting depth chart in the organization.
There has yet to be a formal announcement on who will be making the Opening Day roster, but all we know right now is that neither Jay Jackson or Nate Pearson played their way onto it.