Blue Jays call up top pitching prospect Nate Pearson as rosters expand

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Nate Pearson should be a boost for the Blue Jays' bullpen. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Nate Pearson should be a boost for the Blue Jays' bullpen. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

After many months battling injuries and trying to recapture his form in the minors, Nate Pearson is getting another shot with the big club.

The Toronto Blue Jays' top pitching prospect was promoted from triple-A on Wednesday as MLB rosters expanded from 26 to 28 players.

Pearson was expected to break camp with the Blue Jays out of spring training as a member of the starting rotation, but began the season on the injured list with a groin issue. He made his only big-league start of the season on May 9 against the Houston Astros, and surrendered three runs and a whopping five walks in just 2.1 innings of work.

The 25-year-old was sent back to triple-A Buffalo following that start, and has since dealt with a shoulder injury and the diagnosis of a sports hernia that was leading to his groin problems.

After a lengthy absence, Pearson returned to the Bisons in a relief role on Aug. 14 and gave up two runs in six appearances. In his most recent outing on Aug. 31, he struck out the side on 13 pitches.

Toronto is hoping his overpowering arsenal will boost a bullpen that has struggled for the bulk of the season. Pearson flirts with 100 mph with his fastball and has secondary offerings that can generate plenty of swing-and-miss, which is extremely valuable late in games.

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo will likely look to ease him into high-leverage situations, but he could quickly pitch himself into that equation considering Toronto's relief corps has lacked consistency.

Joining Pearson in the call-up from the minors is 26-year-old right-hander Bryan Baker, who has been dominant for the Bisons in 2021. He pitched to a 1.32 ERA over 33 triple-A games with a K/9 rate of 10.6.

Baker doesn't carry nearly the same prospect pedigree as Pearson, but he'll be an intriguing player to watch at the MLB level.

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