Nate Pearson Returns, Affiliates Looking for the Playoffs and More! – Blue Jays Nation

As the Jays swept the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, let’s look at the Sept. 4 minor league ratings.

As you may know, three Blue Jays affiliates had been seeking a season roster since late August. Let’s check out each of these teams, as well as the performance of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

On August 31, the Blue Jays Triple A team played only three games with three teams to go. As of September 4, they are now six games back with five teams to skip, with just 22 games remaining.

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They took a 2-0 lead early Sunday afternoon, but the Worcester Red Sox eventually clawed their way back to win 5-2. This season, the Bisons have been the team where all the highly touted relief prospects have been placed.

Today, Hayden Juenger (the 22nd ranked prospect in the nation for the Blue Jays) struck out three in two innings pitched. Bowden Francis (part of the Rowdy Tellez trade) also pitched, but in his last three games he’s allowed 7 earned runs in 6.2 innings pitched.

Otto Lopez’s hitting streak also ended on the 31st, but he has since had 5 hits in 14 plate appearances. The 23-year-old deserves a chance with the big league club before the end of the season.

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Either way, with just 22 games left, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that the Bisons will make the playoffs in 2022.

Toronto‘s Double A team has been absent for quite a long time, but they still deserve a mention. Bullpen candidate Yosver Zulueta returned to play for the first time since Aug. 2. The 24-year-old right-hander pitched an inning, allowing an earned run, but striking out three batters.

There was also a pretty notable near triple play in Sunday afternoon’s game, which you can watch below.

Addison Barger, one of the most improved prospects in 2022, has been out of roster since August 27. It remains to be seen if he will make another appearance in the remaining 12 games for the Fisher Cats.

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Orelvis Martinez had a 2-3 game on Sunday, reaching base three times. He’s still at 28 home runs, but one more home run will break his career high in a season. It has also improved a lot with its pitch recognition, removing the breaking stuff.

Jimmy Robbins continues to pitch well for the Fisher Cats, as he had a five innings pitched line, six hits, three earned runs, one walk and four strikeouts. Since arriving in New England, he has a 2.84 ERA in 12.2 innings pitched with a 20.37 K%.

Hopefully the Fisher Cats can finish the season strong.

The Blue Jays affiliate High A has yet to play its game scheduled for Sunday. However, they only need one more win to secure their place in the 2022 North West League playoffs.

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Saturday’s nerve-wracking game featured a 6-2 blowout in the 8th inning, before winning it on extras. If they win on Sunday night, they will have a better guaranteed overall record than Spokane.

Damiano Palmegiani has three homers in his last five games. His total now stands at 13 with the Canadiens and 24 overall between Low A and High A. Not bad for a 14th-round pick (BJN’s 11th-best prospect).

Gabriel Martinez continued his strong start in High A, going 3-5 with an RBI. Rainer Nunez, who was called up at the same time, also went 2-5 in last night’s game.

The player of the match, in my opinion, was Dahian Santos. The evening got off to a rough start for the 19-year-old right-hander as he allowed the first two runners to reach, scoring a point. With a runner in third, he struck out two, which was the theme of the evening. Santos finished with a line of 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB and 10 Kby far his best start at the level.

Eric Pardinho was hit by an online comeback, which ended his evening prematurely. Until then, he hadn’t allowed a run on three hits and a walk. However, the line drive was considered a hit, scoring a run, before two more runs were added before he left. Pardinho finished with a line of 1.2 IP, 4H, 3ER, 1BB and 3Kbut he could very well have ended his evening with a line of 2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K if not for a bit of bad luck. Hopefully the injury isn’t serious.

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Dunedin’s second half was extraordinary. On August 31, they were 15-4 in their last 19 games. They have since gone 17-5, with that loss coming in a three-day, 5-round game featuring big leaguers Luis Severino and Zack Britton.

Sunday morning, big league rehab Nate Pearson got the start for the team, making an inning. Pearson’s fastball sat at 96.9 mph but topped out at 98.9 mph. If he spends the next week with the Dunedin Blue Jays, he will increase their chances of winning the second half exponentially. Plus, if he throws 98 mph out of the Toronto bullpen, he could be that high-leverage reliever in the playoffs.

Dunedin won the first game 7-3. Shortstop Manuel Beltre hit his first Low A homer (92.3 mph), while Josh Kasevich continued to hit the ball well, going 2-4. Alan Roden, Cade Doughty, Devonte Brown, Estiven Machado and Marcos De La Rosa all had a hit in the game.

Jose Ferrer, who has had impressive coming out speeds this season, left the opener injured and was added to the 7-Day IL.

The second game was much more nerve-wracking as Dunedin were down 3-0 before the start of the 4th. Roque Salinas hit their third home of the season to make it 3-2. In the bottom of the seventh and until their last out, undrafted free agent Ryan McCarty walked. Kasevich opted to bring Marcos De La Rosa (who raced for McCarty) to third place.

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Now until their final strike, Estiven Machado doubled to lead in the even race. The baby Jays scored two runs in the top of the 8th, giving them just enough points to win Game 2 5-4.

Eliander Alcalde made his Low A debut on Sunday afternoon, ending the day with a line of 3.1 IP, 4H, 0ER, 0BB and 2K. Additionally, Kendry Rojas had a line of 3 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.

Both of those wins had HUGE implications for the Florida State League second half standings. The Tampa Tarpons were one of two teams seeking the division, but are now 2.5 games behind Dunedin. Bradenton also lost big on Sunday afternoon, so now the Jays have a two-game cushion on them as well.

The Bradenton Mauraders and Tampa Tarpons will both be playing a team at the bottom of the respective division, so it’s imperative that the baby Jays win as many games as possible against the FSL East-leading Palm Beach Cardinals.

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The Vancouver Canadiens and Dunedin Blue Jays have just one series left to play, but a lot to play for. Hope this next week treats them kindly.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D

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