Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Welcome to the Blue, JT Chargois!

This past Friday the Dodgers took a flyer on a right-handed reliever in the Twins organization. They picked up, off the waiver wire, JT Chargois, and he seems to be ecstatic about being with the Dodgers. Per Bill Plunkett at the OC Register:
“This place is crazy, man. This is awesome. It’s like Disney World or something,” he said, sitting at his locker Monday morning in the clubhouse at Camelback Ranch. 
“Look at this place – it’s so bright and merry. Even when I was playing catch yesterday I was like, ‘The ball is so light. Why is everything so light and fluffy here?’”
Originally drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft by Minnesota, Chargois was left unprotected even though he was considered, at one time, to be an high-ranking relief prospect. The reason for this might be because of series arm problems -- he has undergone two Tommy John surgeries. Nevertheless, the Dodgers obviously felt there was enough skill there turn him into their next big project. Considering the clubs ability for turning around ailing pitchers like Chargois (i.e. Brandon Morrow) you have to feel pretty good that they can set him straight. Via Dave Sessions at MLB.com:
"I was kind of a violent thrower to begin with," Chargois said Monday. "It really started with my upper half and kind of a jerking motion with my shoulders. My arm was the thing that was accelerating the throw and my arm was the thing that was decelerating the throw. As much as I thought I was using my legs before, I realized that come on, you're breaking down this much and there's nothing deficiently wrong with you, so it's mechanical." 
Chargois averaged 96.2 mph on his fastball in 2016, when he compiled a 4.70 ERA over 25 innings for Minnesota, including a 0.79 ERA in his final 13 appearances as a rookie. 
"He's got a big arm," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "It really comes out at a lower slot, but the ball has life."
It sounds like he's spent a bunch of time trying to figure out for himself where his arm went wrong. Rowan Kavner at Dodger Insider adds more:
“Basically, it was a developing stress fracture,” Chargois said. “I put in a lot of work this offseason to fix some stuff.” 
During the offseason, Chargois said he spent a lot of time using video analysis to break down his mechanics, and he found some solutions. He took more emphasis off his arm and shifted it to his legs and his lift, staying over the rubber more and using his legs as the initiator of his throw. 
“Being in control with the lower half was a point of emphasis,” Chargois said. “There were some things wrong, basically with the arm, the initiator and decelerator of my throw, that can only last for so long. Incorporating the body and figuring out which body parts are supposed to take the most abuse is pretty key.”
On another note, there was no pressing need for the Twins to just waive Chargois since they did not need to find room on their 40-man roster. So, why did he become available for nothing? Malja Varda at Twinkie Town adds to the speculation:
I speculated maybe the move was done because Derek Falvey and Thad Levine thought Chargois could pass through waivers due to his recent and/or current (?) injuries.
So the Twins just lost a young, hard-throwing reliever for what appears to be nothing. Yes, Chargois was injured nearly all of last year, and there were questions about his current health, but when healthy, the guy had good stuff — a fastball that can reach the upper 90s, a sick slider, and future-closer potential. What was the point of waiving him? I mean the guy was already at camp and took pictures for Twins photo day and everything.
Sounds like we committed highway robbery here.

In celebration of JT's addition to the Dodgers 40-man roster I made two fantasy Baseball cards him seen at the very top.

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