Steve Pearce silenced doubters with a productive, though injury-shortened, 2016 season. The Rays plugged the 33-year-old in at several different positions throughout the season, and he was slashing .309/.388/.520 with 10 home runs in 60 games when he was traded to the Orioles in early August. He saw inconsistent playing time in a utility role for the O's before being placed on the disabled list late in the year. He finished the year with a solid 136 wRC+ between the two clubs. Pearce had surgery in September to repair the flexor mass tendon in his elbow, and he should be ready for the start of the season. The Blue Jays signed Pearce to a two-year deal early in the offseason. It is possible that he opens the year as the everyday left fielder, but another acquisition could force him into the short side of a platoon (130 career wRC+ against LHP, 100 wRC+ against RHP).
Pearce (elbow) will play left field for the first time this spring in Saturday's Grapefruit League matchup against the Rays, Toronto play-by-play announcer Mike Wilner reports. Pearce, who underwent surgery in September, began spring camp on a strict throwing program. The team had hoped their new acquisition would be able to regularly man left field this season, but the timeline for when that would happen has been a bit hazy until now. Things have started to clear up in recent days as general manager Ross Atkins said there's a "possibility" Pearce will be able to play left on Opening Day. Pearce played just 19 games in the outfield last season -- his fewest since 2011 -- so he missed the eligibility cutoff in many leagues by one game. Assuming his arm is ready for the workload, the veteran's fantasy value will get a nice boost by mid-May when his position flexibility increases.
Pearce (elbow) is batting third and playing first base during Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Pirates. Sunday's contest marks the first time that Pearce has played in the field following his offseason elbow surgery. He's expected to see more time in the outfield during the regular season, but manager John Gibbons wants to ease the veteran in at the less physically demanding position of first base for the time being.
Pearce (elbow) is set to play first base Sunday, and Blue Jays manager John Gibbons indicated he might be available to play the outfield on Opening Day, John Lott of The Athletic Toronto reports. Assuming his rehab goes smoothly, the veteran should be able to piece together at-bats at several positions this season. AL-only fantasy players could consider Pearce as a complementary piece for deep starting lineups, especially in formats where he still carries second base eligibility after seeing 15 games there in 2016.
Pearce (elbow) will make his first spring start in the field March 19 and play first base, Sportsnet's Mike Wilner reports. Pearce's recovery from offseason surgery has gone smoothly and he's closing in on the next big step -- playing defense. Manager John Gibbons plans to ease the 10-year veteran back into action by sticking him at first base, although the team is hoping Pearce will spend most of 2017 in the outfield. The 33-year-old journeyman is capable of filling a handful of defensive positions, but Gibbons said he has no plans to plug Pearce in at second base while Devon Travis (knee) slowly recovers from his own offseason procedure.
Pearce (elbow) went 1-for-2 with two RBI in Sunday's Grapefruit League contest against the Rays. Playing in his second exhibition game, Pearce notched his first hit and RBI of the spring season. Pearce is expected to remain at DH for the next two weeks before gradually working his way back into the field. In the meantime, the 33-year-old -- who signed a two-year, $12.5 million contract with Toronto after splitting last season with the Rays and Orioles -- will continue progressing through a throwing program.