It’s the perfect transformation of the original Ryu Hyun-jin. Nate Pearson, 27, of the Toronto Blue Jays, is making his mark as a setup man.

Pearson came on as the third pitcher in the top of the seventh inning of a 4-6 home game against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday (Dec. 12) at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and pitched two innings of one-hit ball, striking out three to earn the save.

Pearson was selected by Toronto in the first round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft. He struggled with injuries and poor command of his pitches. When Hyun-jin Ryu signed a four-year, $80 million deal in free agency in 2019-2022, there were rosy predictions that Pearson would be a future ace with Ryu as a pillar.

It wasn’t to be. Pearson didn’t win a game until 2021. He didn’t even start a game in 2022. This season, he’s back in the bullpen, not as a starter. And then his potential exploded. In 16 games, including this one, he’s 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA, a .200 batting average, and a 0.95 WHIP.

Pearson made waves from the time he was drafted with a fastball that sits around 160 mph. His nagging injuries and pitches have always been a concern, but his traits actually work in his favor in the bullpen. As a one-inning reliever, his velocity is his biggest weapon.

Pearson took the mound in the top of the seventh inning, trailing 4-6. He threw a slider to leadoff hitter Carlos Correa and got a double to left field. A wild pitch put runners at second and third. From there, he struck out Trevor Ranacci on a slider, struck out Royce Lewis on a 100.7 mph fastball, and got Max Kepler to ground out to second on a 99 mph fastball. In the eighth, he struck out Christian Vazquez, Michael Taylor, and Eduardo Julien for a triple play.토토사이트

Pearson had the best season of his career this year as a setup man. Expectations for him to develop into the team’s ace behind Hyun-jin Ryu were dashed, but that’s a positive given that it’s more important to be a contributor than a forgotten prospect.

Add in the fact that Alex Manoa, a year his junior, finished third in the Cy Young voting in 2022 before falling apart this year and being sent down to the minors, and it’s hard to predict when and how someone’s life will change. He’s pretty stable as a setup man. The way he’s currently being used, he’s not a perfect setup man, but he has the potential to be an important part of the bullpen if he continues to perform well.

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