Nate Pearson looked the part of a top prospect in his MLB debut and what happens next will be crucial for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Imagine making your MLB debut against a future Hall of Famer and with no crowd to get yourself psyched up for the game. That’s what Nate Pearson had to deal with in his first career start with the Toronto Blue Jays.
For years we had been hearing about this pitcher who could reach triple digits, but weren’t sure what potential he had considering the team hadn’t thought about whether he would be a starter or a reliever. Now, there is no question where Pearson belongs after one start and it will be interesting to see how he handles himself going forward.
If there were any doubts about Pearson’s ability, he not only painted a perfect 99 m.p.h. fastball at the knees for a strikeout near the end of his outing, but he showed he has a lot of weapons in his arsenal. That’s what will eventually separate him into the class of pitchers that go on to have lengthy careers.
What was interesting is that the 23-year-old’s gameplan was pretty simple; he was going to use his fastball and slider for the most part, while only using his curveball and changeup sparingly. Once he’s able to get those pitches to reach their potential, the Blue Jays will have a formidable ace for hopefully many years to come.
“This team is excited,” Charlie Montoyo said about Pearson’s start. “When he got out of the game, I said, ‘Hey, man, we’ve got a chance to win every five days.’ That’s the first thing I said because he was really good.”
The Blue Jays have seen what an elite ace can do for a team’s confidence. considering Roy Halladay was the model for many years. It’s also what they had hoped for with Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman and now the team is aiming to put that trust in Pearson.
There is also the quiet swagger he carries himself with that is something an ace pitcher certainly needs. He doesn’t let one bad inning or at-bat faze him like when he had a tough first inning against the Boston Red Sox but regrouped and made the proper adjustments.
Now the real question is how the Blue Jays will continue to manage Pearson’s workload going forward. He will start to push to go deeper into innings and Toronto will have to figure out how the rotation will look since he’ll continue to play a big role.
What did you think about Pearson’s debut? What are your expectations for him going forward? Let us know in the comments below.