Chargois claimed off waivers by Dodgers
FORT MYERS, Fla. – If one more team had passed him by, the Twins would have kept J.T. Chargois. But the Dodgers, whose best-in-baseball record last season gives them the lowest possible priority on waiver claims, couldn't resist the former second-round pick who once threw 100 miles per hour.
So Chargois, whose future with the Twins was appeared so bright when he represented them in the 2016 Futures Game in San Diego, is now off to join the NL champions in Glendale, Ariz.
"Talented kid," Twins manager Paul Molitor said of the 27-year-old righthander, who appeared in 25 major league games and posted a 4.70 ERA in 2016. "The amount of innings he has pitched the last five years because of one thing or another has not enabled him maybe to get to where we think he's still got a chance to go. … He can help some team."
Chargois, taken with the 73rd overall pick in 2012, didn't pitch at all in 2013 or 2014 after elbow pain resulted in Tommy John ligament replacement surgery. He seemed back on track in 2015, and moved up quickly. But a stress reaction in his elbow last spring ended his season after just two outings in April. When the Twins decided they needed another roster spot as they pursue more depth in the free-agent market, the former Rice star was deemed expendable.
"He was excited to get into camp and be healthy," Molitor said. "He felt like he's got a chance to go out there and compete."
Slegers looks sharp
Aaron Slegers' four-game sneak peek at the majors last season didn't go as well as he hoped, but it's still providing benefits this year. The 6-10 Twins righthander proved it Friday in his, and his team's, first inning of Grapefruit League play.
Slegers faced Boston's Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Hanley Ramirez, each an established big-league star, and retired all three, the last two on strikeouts. That's probably not how that would have gone a year ago, the 24-year-old said.
"That top of the order they throw out there doesn't intimidate me like it used to," Slegers said, mostly because he spent September in the majors. "If I had faced that a year ago, maybe I would have gone about that differently. It just instills that attack factor, [the confidence] that I can pitch at the highest level."
Support for MSD
All MLB teams wore the dark blue caps of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's baseball team Friday to show their support for the victims and survivors of last week's mass shooting at the Parkland, Fla., school.
"That was pretty special. I don't know about anyone else, but I got chills during that moment of silence," Slegers said. "With all the people in the ballpark, and realizing there's a lot bigger things going on than baseball. And that we could offer a small token by wearing those caps was pretty cool."
The caps were signed by each player after the game and will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to the Broward Education Foundation toward the Stoneman Douglas victims' fund.
The Twins' first trek up Interstate 75 takes them to Sarasota for a night game with the Orioles on Saturday. Adalberto Mejia will make his first start of the spring.
La VELLE E. NEAL III