The Toronto Blue Jays #1 top prospect is starting pitcher Nate Pearson, and with the potentially shortened campaign in 2020, Pearson should be in the Blue Jays starting rotation to begin the season.
With the COVID-19 pandemic causing the MLB to rethink their strategy on how to start the 2020 season, all eyes will be on the Toronto Blue Jays and how they are going to utilize their star prospect, Nate Pearson.
If the 2020 season was not put on hiatus due to the virus, the plan for Pearson would have most likely seen a mid-Summer call-up in June or July.
The reason for a delayed call-up to the majors is attributed not so much to his skill, but to keep his innings limited given he missed most of the 2018 season after breaking his arm in the first game of the season. Simply put, he only has 123.1 innings under his belt the past three seasons and everyone felt he needed some more before joining the team North of the border.
The consensus was that the Blue Jays were going to let him wrack up some more innings in AAA with the Buffalo Bison before bringing him into the fold around midpoint in the season, managing his innings and possibly even throwing him into the bullpen by the end of the year.
Again, all speculation, but the signs were there for this theory.
Now with the 2020 season most likely beginning sometime in July and the minor league season concluding at the end of August (normally), does it make sense to have Pearson toil around in the minors?
My answer is no.
Nobody could have predicted how the pandemic would have impacted the 2020 season, but given that there will not be 162 games this year and the possibility for doubleheaders to make up for lost games, there is no downfall to having a guy like Pearson on the roster to begin the year.
The Blue Jays could utilize a 6 man rotation which would create room for the 100 mph right-hander, as well as keep him on a strict pitch limit given the expanded rosters and added extra bullpen arms (there was already going to be an expansion to 26 players, there is now speculation that it may move to 28-30 players given the current situation).
The Toronto Blue Jays would have to find room for Pearson on the 40 man roster, but that really shouldn’t be too big of a hurdle given the 6’6 right-hander was going to be joining the team around this time anyway in a normal season scenario.
The skill is there given Pearson has already mowed through every single level of the minor league system, as well as having strong numbers in the 4 games he pitched this spring training before it was shut down.
In 2019, he had a stellar 2.59 ERA with 69 strikeouts in 16 games with the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats and would finish the season in AAA throwing 18 innings to the tune of a 3.00 ERA, 15 strikeouts, and a 0.833 WHIP.
It is time the Blue Jays take the leash off their potential future ace and let him toss 100mph bullets and knee breaking curveballs on baseball’s biggest stage.