Stud prospect Nate Pearson will have to settle for a spot on the Toronto Blue Jays’ three-man taxi squad at the start of the shortened 2020 regular season.
The team announced its 30-man roster Thursday along with a long list of moves ahead of Friday’s season opener at Tampa Bay.
The Blue Jays gain an extra year of contractual control if Pearson is not on the roster for the first week of the season. Catcher Caleb Joseph joined Pearson on the taxi squad along with left-hander Ryan Borucki, who was optioned to the team’s alternate training site.
The regular season was trimmed from 162 to 60 games this year due to the pandemic. The taxi squad gives teams an immediate option to replace a player due to injury or a positive COVID-19 test.
The Blue Jays also selected right-hander A.J. Cole and left-hander Brian Moran to the major-league roster. Right-handers Thomas Hatch and Jacob Waguespack, infielder Santiago Espinal and left-hander Anthony Kay also made the cut after all four players were recalled.
Right-hander Chase Anderson was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to last Monday, with a right oblique strain.
Pearson was selected by the Blue Jays in the first round (28th overall) of the 2017 draft. He’s ranked 10th on MLB Pipeline’s prospect watch.
Pearson spent most of last season at double-A New Hampshire before closing the campaign with three starts at triple-A Buffalo. The 23-year-old native of Odessa, Fla., was 5-4 with a 2.30 earned-run average last year.
The Blue Jays are still trying to determine where they will play home games during the 2020 season.
The federal government shut down a request by the team to play at Toronto’s Rogers Centre since the proposal would have required frequent travel between Canada and the United States.
A subsequent plan to play at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park was shut down by Pennsylvania state health officials.
The Blue Jays’ so-called home opener is set for Wednesday against the Washington Nationals at a venue to be determined.