Since the hirings of president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi in 2014, the Los Angeles Dodgers have placed a strong emphasis on depth when constructing annual rosters.
While the club didn’t make a splashy acquisition over the offseason, they continued improving on the fringes with underrated signings, trades and waiver claims. Such was the case when Los Angeles plucked right-hander J.T. Chargois off waivers from the Minnesota Twins.
Chargois, 27, was once considered the Twins’ top relief prospect, but his undeniable skill hasn’t translated to the field because of unforeseeable injuries. He missed all but two games last season after enduring elbow pain, and was consequently shut down for the rest of the year.
In an effort to improve his game, Chargois analyzed footage of himself during the offseason in effort to improve his mechanics, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“During the offseason, I took some time with video analysis and stuff like that to break down my mechanics and there were some things wrong,” said Chargois, whose fastball averaged 96.2 mph during his brief big-league time and has touched 100 mph. “Basically, the arm was the initiator and the decelerator of my throw – which can only last for so long. To incorporate the body and figure out which parts are supposed to take the most abuse is key.”
Chargois last appeared on a Major League mound in 2016, when he posted a 4.70 ERA, 3.36 FIP and 1.61 WHIP over 25 games. The right-hander didn’t allow a home run across 23 innings of work, but struggled with command, issuing 4.6 walks per nine.
Most of his struggles took place during the first half. After another Minor League stint, he joined the Twins in August and yielded a 0.79 ERA across 11.1 innings to close out the regular season.
Chargois has Minor League options remaining, so even if he doesn’t break camp with the Dodgers, they’ll have the luxury of sending him to the Minors without exposing him to waivers. Though, he’s been impressive thus far.
Chargois has allowed just one hit, issued one walk and has four strikeouts over four scoreless innings across four Cactus League appearances. Opponents are batting .077 off the hard-throwing right-hander.