The Blue Jays have activated right-hander Nate Pearson from the 10-day injured list, the club announced. Pearson will report to the Blue Jays’ alternate site and join their Triple-A team.
Pearson suffered a right groin strain at the beginning of camp last month, though Toronto initially didn’t expect it to lead to a long absence. Roughly two weeks later, Pearson re-aggravated the injury, and he has spent the past month and a half working back from it.
While Pearson is one of the game’s prized young hurlers, evidenced in part by his 16th-place ranking on Baseball America’s list of top 100 prospects, staying healthy has been an issue of late. The hard-throwing 24-year-old made his major league debut last season, though a flexor strain in his elbow limited him to five appearances (four starts) and 18 innings. He struggled across that small sample of work, allowing 15 runs (12 earned) and issuing 13 walks. Pearson only gave up 14 hits, but five of those went for home runs, and he finished with a below-average 19.8 percent strikeout rate.
Although Pearson’s first regular-season action didn’t go well, he did end 2020 on a high note. Pearson made one appearance in the Blue Jays’ wild-card round loss to the Rays and threw two perfect innings with five strikeouts and 12 swings and misses. That’s the type of dominance the Jays are hoping Pearson will provide out of their rotation whenever they recall him this season and over the long haul. The club’s staff could use the help in the near term, as only Hyun Jin Ryu (who’s on the 10-day IL with a right glute strain), Steven Matz and Robbie Ray have made three or more starts and produced positive results this year.