While Nate Pearson is making a case for a spot in the starting rotation, the Toronto Blue Jays need to make sure they make the responsible decision.
It would be easy to see the five scoreless innings where he hasn’t allowed a hit and leads the Blue Jays with nine strikeouts and want to pencil him onto the big league roster. However, the front office is trying to think about the big picture and ensuring its managing its top prospect responsibly.
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This means making sure Pearson isn’t going to be moved up and down between triple-A and the major leagues because he was rushed to pitch. Instead, he should leave no doubt that he is ready even if he has to do it with the Buffalo Bisons.
Sure, there is also the service time argument where a couple of weeks in the minors keeps him from becoming a free agent until 2026 instead of 2025 if he were to make the team out of camp. It’s important considering they did the same thing with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in order to keep him with the Blue Jays as long as they realistically can.
"“Because of the upside, because of the potential for him to be a workhorse – and we feel strongly that he will be – we are entirely focused on his development,” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told reporters.“And a big part of his development is ensuring that he has every chance to increase that workload in a logical and smart way.”"
Considering his age and lack of starts at triple-A and of course limited experience against major-league hitters, it’s understandable why the Blue Jays want to bring him along slowly. This might not seem like a popular decision but there is less harm having him come along slowly.
He only has just over 123 innings over his minor league career so to expect him to pitch a full season would be tough at this stage. It’s tough for the Blue Jays to manage his workload if he makes the jump right away rather than have him start in the minors.
We all know how dominant Pearson’s fastball is but if he can’t get his secondary pitches like his change-up to execute with the same level of consistently as his best pitch then it will be tough to see him adjust to the majors. That is why the Blue Jays want to take the right approach and work on those pitches in games where wins don’t matter as much in Buffalo as they do in Buffalo.
What do you think the Blue Jays should do with Pearson? Should he start the season in triple-A or do you think he is ready to make the opening day roster? Let us know in the comments below.