Prior to tonight’s game, the Guardians announced a flurry of roster alterations, including the recall of left-hander Konnor Pilkington and outfielder Richie Palacios.
Outfielder Oscar Gonzalez has also been signed, with Yu Chang slated for assignment to take a place on both the active and 40-man rosters. Franmil Reyes has been placed on the injured list with Aaron Civale, whose IL placement has previously been published, to make room on the active roster for Pilkington and Palacios. According to Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal, Reyes has right hamstring soreness.
Chang has spent inconsistent time in the major leagues with Cleveland since his debut in 2019. In that time, he’s appeared in 131 games and has 358 plate appearances, but he’s only hit.208/.265/.372 with a wRC+ of 71. After exhausting his option years, the club was compelled to designate him for assignment to make room on the active roster.
Despite the dismal batting line, other teams may be able to identify some things to focus on. Chang adds positional versatility, having competently played all four infield positions. Statcast’s Outs Above Average finds him to be above average in all of them, with a career total of +8 OAA.
He also had remarkable plate discipline in his first two seasons, with walk rates over 13% in both 2019 and 2020, albeit that plummeted to 4.4 percent last year. He hasn’t walked at all this year, despite only being up to bat ten times.