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Pearson heads to IL with elbow problem

Top Blue Jays prospect felt tightness after start on Tuesday
Nate Pearson recorded 119 strikeouts across three Minor League levels last season. (Frank Franklin II/AP)
@katiejwoo
August 19, 2020

The Blue Jays suffered a setback Wednesday, placing top prospect Nate Pearson on the injured list with elbow tightness.

The Blue Jays suffered a setback Wednesday, placing top prospect Nate Pearson on the injured list with elbow tightness.

Pearson -- MLB.com's ninth overall prospect -- felt tightness in his start on Tuesday and told the team after the game. The 23-year-old pitched four innings against Baltimore, allowing five runs on four hits while recording three walks and three strikeouts.

“It was kind of good news this morning that he was feeling better this morning, but of course he’s one of our big prospects, so we’re going to be careful with him,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo told reporters.

“We’re going to go through all the tests to see where we are."

Toronto's first-round pick in 2017, Pearson is regarded as one of the top young arms in the game. He breezed through the Minors in 2019, earning two promotions and finishing the season with Triple-A Buffalo. The right-hander has struggled this year in his Major League debut, however, posting a 6.61 ERA over 16 1/3 innings.

Listed as baseball's second-best right-handed pitching prospect, Pearson began the 2019 season with Class A Advanced Dunedin, where went 3-0 with a stifling 0.86 ERA. He was promoted to Double-A New Hampshire in May, where he posted a 2.59 ERA over 16 starts. After being promoted to Buffalo, the Odessa, Florida native yielded six runs while striking out 15 over 18 frames.

Over his three-year Minor League career, Pearson owns a combined 2.19 ERA and 0.87 WHIP and has limited opposing hitters to a .173 average.

Katie Woo is an editorial producer for Minor League Baseball. Follow her on twitter at @katiejwoo.