Pirates Send Down Top Pitching Prospect

The Pittsburgh Pirates have shuffled the deck on their pitching staff, calling up right-hander Chase De Jong, while optioning top prospect Roansy Contreras to Triple-A Indianapolis in return.  Luis Oviedo was designated for assignment to create space on the 40-man roster. 

With Indianapolis, De Jong has made two starts and three appearances, and has posted a 2.08 ERA, 0.92 WHIP in 13 innings, with 19 strikeouts to only 5 walks. For that, he's been awarded a spot on the Pirates staff in place of Contreras, who's actually pitched well thus far, with 7.2 innings, 10 strikeouts and a 3.52 ERA. He's only 22, and will have plenty of other chances to stick with the big club. 

Pirates manager Derek Shelton wants to give Contreras a chance to build up starters innings in the minors. "At some point I think he’s going to start for us. I’m not saying it’s going to be in the immediate future, but I think we view him as a starter.”

De Jong was hit in the knee by a comebacker to the mound last July, and underwent season-ending knee surgery after making 9 starts for the Bucs. He posted a 5.77 ERA with a 1.55 WHIP. 

The 28-year-old has pitched in parts of the last five seasons in the majors for four different teams. He has yet to find the success that was suggested by his second-round selection by the Toronto Blue Jays back in 2012, but he is off to a nice start in AAA this season.

Photo Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports