The Toronto Blue Jays made a surprising move on Saturday, designating veteran infielder Paul DeJong for assignment just 18 days after acquiring him from the St. Louis Cardinals. The decision came as a shock to many, especially considering DeJong was brought in to provide depth after All-Star shortstop Bo Bichette landed on the injured list. However, with Bichette’s return and DeJong’s struggles at the plate, the Blue Jays felt it was necessary to make a change.
When the Blue Jays traded minor league right-hander Matt Svanson to the Cardinals in exchange for DeJong, it was seen as a move to bolster their roster. General manager Ross Atkins expressed his excitement about acquiring the veteran infielder, even before Bichette’s injury. Atkins believed that DeJong’s skills as a hitter and a defender would complement the team’s organization and add depth to their lineup.
Unfortunately for DeJong, his time with the Blue Jays did not go as planned. Batting mostly at the bottom of the order, he struggled to find his rhythm at the plate. In 14 games, he managed to record just three hits and one RBI while striking out 18 times. These numbers simply did not meet the team’s expectations, and it became clear that DeJong was not fitting into their lineup.
Before his short-lived stint with the Blue Jays, DeJong had spent his entire seven-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals. He had a solid track record, with a career batting average of .233 and 13 home runs and 32 RBIs in the current season alone. DeJong’s standout performance came in 2019 when he was named an All-Star and hit a career-best 30 home runs. However, his success in St. Louis did not translate to the same level of productivity in Toronto.
While the departure of DeJong may be disappointing for Blue Jays fans, it opens up an opportunity for young pitcher Matt Svanson. Svanson, a 24-year-old right-hander, was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 13th round of the 2021 draft. The team has high hopes for Svanson and believes he has the potential to make a significant impact on their pitching staff in the future.
Bo Bichette’s return to the lineup was a positive development for the Blue Jays. The All-Star shortstop wasted no time proving his worth, delivering an RBI single in his first game back. In addition to Bichette’s contribution, Davis Schneider hit a tiebreaking solo home run, helping the Blue Jays secure a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds and even the series. Sunday’s finale promises to be an exciting matchup between these two competitive teams.
The decision to designate Paul DeJong for assignment was a difficult one for the Toronto Blue Jays. Despite high hopes and expectations, DeJong struggled to find his place within the team’s lineup. While his departure may be disappointing, it provides an opportunity for young talent like Matt Svanson to showcase their skills. The return of Bo Bichette and the team’s recent victory against the Reds offer a glimmer of hope for the Blue Jays as they look to build momentum and find success in the remainder of the season.