Pirate pain reliever Chase De Jong waivers were removed and sent straight to Triple-A Indianapolis, according to transaction log at MLB.com. He has repeatedly failed to claim an exemption during his career, giving him minor league free agency voting rights.
De Jong spent three seasons with Pittsburgh. He has started nine games with average results in 2021 but has enjoyed more success when he moved to the cowshed last year. De Jong threw 71 2/3 innings in 42 appearances for the Bucs, producing an ERA of 2.64. It’s mostly low-leverage work, and De Jong’s peripherals are no match for his powerful blocking of activity.
Right-handers hit 20.1% below-average hits while walking 10.2% of opponents. However, De Jong’s defense and ability to run multiple rounds secured a spot on his 40-man roster throughout the winter. The Bucs kept De Jong out of options in their opening game of the season, but he lost his spot on his roster with a slow start. Through 9 1/3 frames, he was allowed to run 11 times with 13 hits and five walks. De Jong’s swing hit rate has dropped from a usable rate of 10.5% to a modest 5.2%.
Now De Jong will decide whether to report to Indianapolis or scour the market for other opportunities. He will likely be limited to minor league offers as a free agent but could look elsewhere for clearer paths back to the MLB roster and/or possible date. opt-out of non-listing contracts. De Jong played for seven seasons in Triple-A, reaching an ERA of 5.59 with a hit rate of 19.3% in 211 plays.