Dodgers Claim a Hard-Throwing Reliever from Twins

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 20: J.T. Chargois
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 20: J.T. Chargois /

The Los Angeles Dodgers have announced that they made an official claim for right-handed relief pitcher JT Chargois on Friday, February 23rd and the move will fill out the 40-man roster after the team placed Julio Urias on the 60-day disabled list. The addition may mean nothing to you now but adding Chargois may turn out to be an excellent move for the Dodgers down the road.

JT Chargois has taken the scenic route through his baseball journey. He was drafted by the Twins in the second round of the 2012 amateur draft. Chargois was known for his upper 90’s fastball and his college baseball experience at Rice University did not hurt his draft stock at all. At the time, Chargois was not only regarded as one of the better relief pitchers on the board but also as a decent first baseman. Scouts projected he would one day be an elite closer or set-up man.

That was 2012. After just 12 professional games following the draft, Chargois began experiencing elbow pain. The team sent him to be checked where it was determined he would need Tommy John Surgery just a month into his pro career.

The surgery went well but the recovery process took forever. Chargois missed all of the 2013 and 2014 seasons as rehab from his surgery was moving slowly. He returned in 2015 and to the pleasure of the Twins, Chargois played like he never got hurt in the first place. That season, JT pitched in 48 games where he racked up 15 saves to the tune of a 2.63 ERA.

Chargois’ injury was behind him. He was an early round draft pick in 2012 and in 2016 he was rewarding the team that drafted him with great play. Across two minor league levels, the now 25-year-old was untouchable. That season, Chargois owned an ERA of 1.35, a WHIP of 1.029, and struck out 55 batters in just 46.2 frames.

His incredible minor league showing boosted him to the majors later that year but his minor league dominance did not carry over. In his 25 big league appearance, Chargois had an ERA of 4.70 and a WHIP of 1.609. The reliever once known for his strikeouts had a strikeout per nine inning rate of 6.7.

However, the Twins were fine with this result. Chargois began the 2017 season in the major leagues but his incredible story was not yet ready to calm down. Chargois, just two games into the

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season, felt elbow pain yet again. He went to the doctor to find out that he would miss the season but would not need Tommy John Surgery for the second time.

So, that brings us to 2018. Chargois is reported to be in the best shape of his life and while that may mean nothing, to Chargois it means the world. The oft-injured righty is healthy. His pitches look sharp and he is stronger than he was before. Last time Chargois got hurt he came back and even better pitcher and with the way things look now, he is on track to do that again.

The Dodgers added Chargois because he is a risk with no penalties. JT who is still just 27-years-old is more than capable of being a late-inning reliever because his stuff is borderline elite. There is no such thing as too much depth and a player like JT Chargois is exactly what the Dodgers are looking for.

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Chargois needs to put the injuries behind him. With a healthy season, there is no limit to what he can do and the scouting reports since the day he was drafted would agree with that statement. The Dodgers may very well have stolen a great player yet again.