The Pirates appear to have resigned right-handed pitcher Chase De Jong to a minor league pact per Jason Mackey of the Post Gazette. De Jong was spotted in Pittsburgh’s Major League camp today, signaling his status as a likely non-roster invitee.
The 28-year-old De Jong returns to Pittsburgh after spending the duration of the 2021 season at the Triple-A and Major League levels for the team. While the well-traveled De Jong flashed tantalizing strikeout potential in his limited Triple-A action last season, that skillset didn’t quite translate to the big leagues after he was called up in late May of last year. An errant line drive struck De Jong in the knee in July, ultimately ending his season and leading to knee surgery. He was subsequently outrighted off Pittsburgh’s roster and elected minor league free agency in November.
All told, De Jong soaked up over 43 innings across 9 starts before his knee injury, sporting a 5.77 ERA with uninspiring peripherals. Despite the lack of results, the right-hander may serve as a source of innings for an unproven Pittsburgh pitching staff that largely remains in “let’s see what happens” mode.
A former second round pick, De Jong has yet to find much success at the Major League level but continues to get looks. Now in his sixth organization, the journeyman pitcher has pitched at least one inning at the game’s highest level in five straight seasons. He’s likely to keep that streak going if his knee proves fully recovered in the weeks to follow.