Blue Jays hope Pearson can be a reliever option in ‘near term’

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Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins says pitching prospect Nate Pearson could be a reliever option for the club in the “near term” as he works his way back to the mound after battling a sports hernia.

Atkins told reporters Tuesday that the flame-throwing righty has resumed throwing and the plan is to use him in shorter stints once activated.

The 24-year-old was placed on the club’s minor-league injured list on June 22 with a right groin strain.

Atkins said Pearson’s sports hernia can be treated conservatively in the short-term and then “as we move forward, think about the potential of other procedures or other ways of managing it.”

The hope is that Pearson will resume working as a starter next spring.

Pearson struggled in his lone start with the Blue Jays on May 9, where he allowed five walks, four hits and three earned runs over 2 1/3 innings in a 7-4 loss to the Houston Astros.

A first-round pick of the Blue Jays in the 2017 MLB Draft, Pearson was sent down to the club’s triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, where he put up a 4.74 ERA with 36 strikeouts across 24.2 innings.

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