Added to the organization via a waiver claim in February, J.T. Chargois was included on the Opening Day roster and emerged as a dependable option out of the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen. This season marked Chargois’ first pitching in the Majors since 2016 with the Minnesota Twins.
Chargois was once considered the Twins’ top relief prospect, but his skill and outlook hasn’t completely translated to the field because of unforeseeable injuries. He missed all but two games in 2017 due to persistent elbow pain that required him to be shut down.
Having analyzed film of his mechanics, Chargois was confident he would make contributions for the Dodgers. He did exactly that, pitching to a 1.35 ERA through his first 15 games. Though, that span included two blown saves.
Back-to-back rough outings was part of a stretch where Chargois allowed at least one run in three of five appearances, and he wound up being optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on May 23. Chargois was 2-1 and had seen his ERA balloon to 4.76.
The hope was time away from the Majors would allow for Chargois to reset, much like Scott Alexander did. He returned one month later and was much improved until his season became derailed by injury.
He was removed from the game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Aug. 20 due to what the team called neck discomfort. Chargois underwent an MRI and landed on the 10-day disabled list the following day.
Nerve irritation in his neck/arm sidelined him until Sept. 24, when there was just six games remaining in the regular season; the Dodgers ultimately played a seventh (Game 163) to determine the National League West champion.
Chargois’ lone appearance after being activated came Sept. 30 when he struck out two and worked a hitless eighth inning of the Dodgers’ 15-0 blowout victory over the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.
Chargois finished the regular season 2-4 with a 3.34 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 1.27 WHIP, 15 walks and 40 strikeouts in 32.1 innings pitched across 39 games for the Dodgers. Unsurprisingly, he was not included on any active roster during their run to the World Series.
He was 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 11 games for Oklahoma City.
After returning from Oklahoma City, Chargois produced a stretch of 12 games where he sported a 0.87 ERA, held opponents to a .147/.171/.265 batting line and had 13 strikeouts against one walk in 10.1 innings.
Chargois remains under team control but is out of option years, which means the Dodgers will either need to include him on their 2019 Opening Day roster or designate the 27-year-old for assignment.
A similar scenario unfolded this season with Wilmer Font, though his stay with the team was brief as he was traded to the Oakland Athletics before the calendar turned to May.