Prior to Saturday's game against the Cincinnati Reds, the Toronto Blue Jays formally announced the activation of shortstop Bo Bichette from the injured list. He had joined the team on Friday but was not expected to be brought off the IL until Saturday.
In a somewhat surprising move, the club has designated Paul DeJong, who was supposed to be the club's "trade deadline acquisition" for assignment.
Blue Jays activate Bo Bichette, designate Paul DeJong for assignment
The biggest storyline here is obviously the DFA of DeJong, who was only just acquired by the Blue Jays at the deadline. The 30-year-old had been struggling with the Cardinals for the past few seasons but it's safe to say nobody could've seen him having this awful of a stint with the Jays. The seven-year veteran made it into just 13 contests for Toronto, managing to go just 3-for-44 with one RBI, 18 strikeouts and zero walks.
His OPS+ during that time? -62. Yes, you read that right. With the bat, he was 138 percent below league-average as a Blue Jay. DeJong's defense was passable for the Jays and Santiago Espinal,the only other shortstop-capable option on the active roster, felt like a possibility to be demoted so the Jays didn't have to cut DeJong, but the club clearly felt as if the latter was doing more harm than good for the club.
In Bichette, the club is getting their star shortstop back. With the lineups just announced, he is going to be hitting second in this evening's contest against the Reds.
At just 25-years-old, Bichette has already done more than enough to establish himself as one of the game's best players. Even though he missed two weeks worth of games, he still leads the American League in hits with 144 and has a legitimate shot at his first AL batting title. All told, he has 17 home runs, 59 RBI and a 133 OPS+ through 106 games this season. Through and through, he is the pulse of the Blue Jays lineup and is going to be a massive asset.
While and Espinal and Davis Schneider, both of whom have minor league options and less of a track record than DeJong, felt like the obvious candidates to be optioned once Bichette returned, it ultimately feels like the Blue Jays made the right call here. Espinal and Cavan Biggio, who have both had Jays fans at their necks all year, have been swinging decent bats lately while Schneider, the rookie phenom, has become an instant fan favorite, so DeJong was the right choice to be sent packing.