The Pirates non-tendered him in the offseason, and when he didn't make the Minnesota Twins out of spring training, the Yankees picked him up and sent him to their Triple-A club. Due to stadium construction, that team has had to play its home games in Rochester, N.Y., and a large chunk on the road. They didn't have a home clubhouse, using a side room at Rochester's stadium.
“We had to play with what we had,” said Pearce who batted .321 with 11 homers in 52 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. “Tiny clubhouse, the weight room was in the hallway. We knew going into the season we had to deal with it. It was frustrating, but what can you do?”
Pearce exercised an opt-out of his clause on June 1 and the Yankees sent him to the Orioles for cash considerations. Not only was he going back to the big leagues, but he also was getting out of what would have been a 13-game road trip.
Instead of being a road warrior, Pearce has started six of his seven games played for the Orioles and was hitting .286 heading into Thursday.
That's when he joined a growing list of players that didn't start the season here yet have made an impact in at least one game: Bill Hall, Steve Tolleson, Xavier Avery, Dana Eveland, Miguel Gonzalez and Stu Pomeranz.
Pearce's performance, though, may have been the most impressive, because it came against the club that gave up on him and it surpassed his offensive output of the season to that point.
“I actually got sent down and got to play against him for two or three days whenever Scranton came to Norfolk, and I looked up at his numbers and he had video game stats up in Triple-A,” Hunter said. “The next day he is with the Orioles. And tonight he has five RBIs and has a career night. You are happy for him. It's definitely a special day for him.”