AP NEWS

Mariners Noon Number: 7.85

May 12, 2017 GMT

After Thursday’s 7-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, Chase De Jong’s ERA after five appearances and three starts with the Seattle Mariners is 7.85.

De Jong, acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in March in exchange for Drew Jackson and Aneurys Zabala, has allowed 16 earned runs and four home runs in 18 1/3 innings. He’s allowed 23 hits and eight walks, a whopping 1.69 WHIP, and giving up a .311 batting average against.

That, quite obviously, won’t cut it.

To be fair, the Mariners have pressed De Jong into service much earlier than they would have liked to. In fact, if you pressed GM Jerry Dipoto he’d probably tell you he didn’t want to have to use De Jong as a starter at all this season.

De Jong, 23, has made a grand total of three (3) starts in Triple-A – two this season for Tacoma and one last year for the Dodgers’ affiliate in Oklahoma City.

De Jong isn’t a dominant pitcher. In 95 minor league appearances over six seasons, he averaged 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings against 2.2 walks and 8.2 hits. Those are all serviceable if not spectacular numbers and with a solid three-pitch mix he should be a useful big league pitcher, probably for the long haul in the bullpen – where he can max out and pick up another tick or two on his fastball..

But that isn’t showing yet, because he’s probably at least a year early from where he should be due to the extent of injury to the big league rotation.

De Jong has struck out just seven in 18 1/3 innings. That’s not big-league quality yet. He needs more time to season in the minors. But the M’s can’t afford that luxury right now.