After throwing the ball with teammates in the outfield, pitcher Nate Pearson took a few moments on Tuesday to walk the Nationals Park mound in anticipation of his first Major League start.
That first start will be Wednesday night against Max Scherzer in the Toronto Blue Jays' so-called home opener against the Washington Nationals.
“I wanted to be there on the mound, just to find my bearings, do a little visualization and feel what it's like to be on the diamond,” Pearson said in a video conference Tuesday.
“Visualize the home plate and the batter coming to the plate. Mentally prepare for tomorrow (Wednesday). That's all. Get used to the atmosphere on the pitch. "
One of the best hopes of the Major Leagues
The six-foot-six right-hander will start the third of four straight games against the defending World Series champions. Selected by the Blue Jays in 28 th overall in the 2017 draft, Pearson is seen as one of the Big Leagues' best prospects.
“I'll probably be nervous as we get closer to the game, but it will be a good nervousness, like excitement and everything that goes with that moment. "
Pearson, whose fastball can reach 100 miles per hour (161 km / h), started the season on the three-man reserve list. By delaying his recall, the Blue Jays are keeping an additional year of control on the contractual level.
“I try not to let these details bother me,” Pearson said.
“Of course, recalling me immediately after the years of service date can create a lot of speculation. But ultimately it is a business decision. I want the Blue Jays to be successful and they are just doing it for the good of the organization. I can't be offended. "
69 strikeouts on three strikes
Pearson split the 2019 season between Dunedin, at A level, New Hampshire, at AA level, and Buffalo, at AAA level. He stayed the longest at New Hampshire, posting a 1-4 record with a 2.59 earned-run average in 16 starts. He added 69 strikeouts and allowed 21 walks.
He says he was told last week in Boston of the team's plans to give him the ball in Game 6 of the year.
"With this youngster, nothing is impossible," said Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo.
“I'm really happy he has the chance to pitch. "
The 23-year-old Pearson ran into trouble early in the game when he came out against the Red Sox a week ago before regaining his composure.
As for Scherzer, he had 11 strikeouts in a 4-1 loss to the New York Yankees last Thursday. The match was interrupted after five and a third innings due to rain.
Pearson may make 10 to 12 starts during the regular season.
“I'm about to make a dream come true and a goal that I've had since I was little. I just enjoy the whole process. "