The Pittsburgh Pirates have had a slow offseason, with their only big move being the trade of Josh Bell to the Washington Nationals. Today, the club has signed pitcher Chase De Jong.
Since Ben Cherington has been hired, it’s been clear his goal is to restock the pitching pipeline and create depth in both the rotation and in the bullpen. Five of his six draft picks were pitchers, one of two players acquired in the Starling Marte trade was a pitcher, and the club acquired two pitchers for Josh Bell. Cherington has continued his trend of acquiring pitchers, signing former Houston Astros pitcher Chase de Jong per Brandon Warne:
Chase De Jong is a 27-year-old right hander who was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He made his MLB debut in 2017 with the Seattle Mariners, posting a 6.35 ERA. Since then, he has pitched with the Minnesota Twins (posting a 3.57 ERA in 2018 in 17.2 innings and only logging one inning in 2019) and the Houston Astros (14.73 ERA in 7.1 innings).
While mostly being a Quad A reliever, De Jong has sat at 90.5 mph on his fastball in his career, though averaged 93 mph in his small sample last year. In addition to his four-seam fastball, he throws a changeup, slider, and curveball as he ditched the sinker in 2019.
De Jong represents another option that will provide depth for the Pirates and one who doesn’t have to be on the club’s 40 man roster. He has historically been a starter in the minor leagues and his short major league stint, and with a club that likely will move two starters from the Major League club in Joe Musgrove and Steven Brault, the team needs depth in the upper minors.
De Jong won’t move the needle in any direction, but represents a depth option. STEAMER projects the right-hander to a 5.74 ERA in 2021. Look for more minor moves and depth adds as the Pirates trade from their Major League team.