Blue Jays send Nate Pearson back to triple-A after shaky season debut

The Toronto Blue Jays optioned top prospect Nate Pearson to triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday and recalled right-hander Jeremy Beasley.

Top prospect allowed 3 earned runs, walked 5 over 2 1/3 innings in loss to Astros

The Blue Jays on Tuesday optioned top pitching prospect Nate Pearson to triple-A Buffalo, two days after he gave up three earned runs and walked five over 2 1/3 innings in his season debut. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

The Toronto Blue Jays optioned top prospect Nate Pearson to triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday and recalled right-hander Jeremy Beasley.

Pearson struggled in his first start of the season last Sunday as the Blue Jays dropped a 7-4 decision to Houston. He allowed five walks, four hits and three earned runs over 2 1/3 innings.

The six-foot-six 250-pound right-hander started this season on the injured list with a right adductor strain.

"The main reason we sent him down is because we want him to get more consistency coming off his injury," said Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo. "He made some strides in his first triple-A outing but he's still got some work to do. [But] the sky is the limit."

Pearson, 24, entered the season as the eighth-ranked prospect overall by Major League Baseball. He made five appearances, including four starts, last year.

"The expectations are so high but he'll be all right," Montoyo said. "He just needs to pitch more in the minor leagues and he'll be all right."

Kay reinserted into starting rotation

Montoyo said left-hander Anthony Kay will fill the spot in Toronto's starting rotation.

"Our hope is that Kay takes that spot and goes with it," Montoyo said. "We'll see because he's another guy who's had some struggles so far.

"But he's another guy that we believe in and we know that he can do it. He's done it before."

Kay is 0-2 with a 10.24 earned-run average over three appearances this season. He was 2-0 with a 5.14 ERA over 13 appearances last year.

Beasley, who was acquired from Arizona last month for cash considerations, made one relief appearance with the Diamondbacks last season.

He was available for Tuesday night's game at Atlanta, the opener of a three-game interleague series. Montoyo said Beasley could be used in relief spots of up to two innings.

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