At 25 and with a brilliant career ahead of him, Nate Pearson has just seen his plans change drastically when he learned of the arrival of left-hander Yusei Kikuchi with the team.
Recall that the Japanese starter has just signed a three-year pact with the Blue Jays. By doing so, the team secures a quality fifth starter, meaning that a spot for Pearson with the team is far from assured.
A start to the season at AAA level is therefore not excluded.
Still, Pearson showed up at the practice site with the full intention of earning a place in the rotation. Twice this weekend, he brilliantly faced a group of batters including Vladimir Guerrero Jr. as well as Bo Bichette.
In 2021, Pearson couldn’t compete due to injuries. He only pitched a total of 15 innings with the big club.
His career kicked off in 2020 as part of the shortened season and fans got to see two sides to the big right-hander. A faltering Nate Pearson in the regular season (registering a stellar 6.00 ERA in 18 innings of work), while he shone in the matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays as part of the game of the best second as he struck out five of the six batters he faced.
Despite Kikuchi’s arrival, Pearson’s goal remains the same: to carve out a spot in the starting roster heading into the 2022 season, but let’s just say the window of opportunity is much tighter now.
What does this transaction mean for the young pitcher? Has the management of the team already thrown in the towel in his case or the leaders of the formation want to give him every chance to develop well?
As we know, a first-round pick always has more chances to make his mark and enjoys greater patience from the people who believed in him during the draft.
The fact that the Jays have what it takes to battle for their division title and possibly go the extra mile in the playoffs is a game-changer, forcing the hand of the decision makers to put together all the elements necessary for their success. Judging by the decision to sign Yusei Kikuchi, the Blue Jays don’t want to miss out in 2022.
With patience, Nate Pearson will once again have the chance to make his way to the Majors and knowing that anything can happen in the course of a long season, who knows if he won’t play an important role this year?
The good news is that he is fit and able to cope with the music. And at camp, he will still be treated as a starter by the Blue Jays.
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