Blue Jays' Nate Pearson to miss start of season with mono

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Nate Pearson (24) works in the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Atlanta. (John Bazemore/AP)

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Nate Pearson is out indefinitely after being diagnosed with mono, manager Charlie Montoyo said Tuesday.

Pearson has been away from the team since March 31 with what was previously being referred to as a non-COVID illness. The hard-throwing right-hander was expected to begin the season in the bullpen but will instead be added to the injured list.

The 25-year-old had off-season surgery for a sports hernia but appeared in to spring training games before being shut down. In 4.1 spring innings, he posted a 6.23 ERA with six strikeouts and a 0.92 WHIP.

In other Blue Jays news, Montoyo confirmed some of the names that had made the initial roster in the bullpen, including Trent Thornton, Tayler Saucedo and Julian Merryweather. Those three will join Adam Cimber, Jordan Romano, Trevor Richards, Yimi Garcia, David Phelps, Tim Mayza and Ross Stripling in an expanded 10-man bullpen to start the season.

The Blue Jays conclude Grapefruit League action Thursday afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles, then will travel to Toronto to finalize preparation for the season.

The Blue Jays will host Marcus Semien and the Texas Rangers in their home opener Friday, with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT on Sportsnet.

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