Pirates righty Chase De Jong went unclaimed on outright waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis, per the team’s transaction log at MLB.com. De Jong has been previously outrighted in his career, so he has the right to reject that assignment in favor of free agency.
De Jong, 29, was outstanding in Pittsburgh last season but has been unable to replicate his success in 2023. The journeyman right-hander delivered 71 2/3 frames of 2.64 ERA ball a year ago but has thus far been rocked for 17 earned runs in just 11 1/3 innings. De Jong’s 20.1% strikeout rate in 2022 was already below average, but that number has plummeted to 11.7% in this year’s smaller sample. He’s missed fewer bats while continuing to struggle with free passes, and opponents in 2023 have already tagged him for six home runs in just 60 plate appearances.
This is De Jong’s second DFA of the season in Pittsburgh. He had the right to reject an outright assignment last time around as well but opted to accept an assignment to Indianapolis after clearing waivers. He’s pitched 10 1/3 frames in Indy, recording a much sharper 1.74 ERA with a 22.9% strikeout that’s more than double his big league rate but also an alarming 16.9% walk rate. De Jong has a 5.42 ERA in 181 Major League innings and a similar 5.51 ERA in 217 1/3 Triple-A frames. That career ERA in Triple-A is skewed by some earlier struggles; he has a 2.70 mark there in 43 1/3 innings across the past three seasons.