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The Season That Was: Steve Delabar

Steve Delabar
Steve Delabar
Leon Halip

Steve Delabar came to us from the Mariners, in trade for Eric Thames, at the end of July 2012 (Thames would get traded to the Orioles and then was picked up by the Astros, off waivers, in September. He's making a tour of the AL teams). Delabar was amazing, in the last couple of months of that season, putting up a 3.38 ERA in 29.1 innings, getting 14.1 strikeouts/9.

We didn't know what we were getting and I don't think the Mariners knew what they were trading away, or they wouldn't have given him up for Eric Thames.

2013 29 TOR 5 5 3.22 55 14 1 58.2 50 21 4 29 82 127 7.7 0.6 4.4 12.6 2.83
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 11/15/2013.

He had 6 holds and 5 blown saves.

Fangraphs has him at a 1.4 WAR, worth $6.8 million to the Jays.

His FIP was 2.72 and xFIP 3.35. His BABIP was .338, up from .245 in 2012.

Steve's strikeout rate was much the same as last year (12.58/9, 12.55 in 2012). He gave up more walks (4.45/9, up from 3.55), too many walks, but the home runs dropped a bunch (0.61/9, down from 1.64).

He gave up a lot more line drives (22.8%, up from 15.6), fewer ground balls (29.4%, down from 42.9) and more fly balls (47.8%, up from 41.5). I guess the line drives explains the jump in BABIP. Fewer of his fly balls left the park (6.2%, down from 19.7).

A right-handed pitcher, Steve was a little bit better vs. RHB (.244/.318/.336) than LHB (.216/.331/.381).

He was better on the road (1.72 ERA, batters hit .219/.300/.333) than at home (4.94, batters hit .245/.350/.382).

By month:

April: 2-1, 2.35 ERA. Batters hit .208/.368/.264, 13 walks, 20 strikeouts in 15.1 innings.

May: 2-0, 1.98 ERA. Batters hit .184/.245/.286, 3 walks, 13 strikeouts in 13.2 innings.

June: 1-0, 0.00 ERA. Batters hit .200/.304/.225, 6 walks, 21 strikeouts in 10 innings.

July: 0-0, 5.59 ERA, 1 save. Batters hit .278/.308/.444, 2 walks, 18 strikeouts in 9.2 innings.

August: 0-1. 27.00 ERA. Batters hit .550/.571/.1.500, 1 walks, 3 k, in 1 inning.

September: 0-3, 5.00 ERA. Batters hit .281/.351/.469, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts, in 9.0 innings.

He went on the DL in August, a couple of days after he struck out the side on 9 pitches against the A's, but the day after he gave up 3 runs in 1 inning against the Angels. He also struck out the side then, as well as giving up 3 hits, including a home run and a walk.

Steve won the 'Final Vote', to make the All-Star team and struck out the batter (Buster Posey) he faced.

It was a strange season, he walked too many, and was hit pretty hard, when he was hit. He had a 1.71 ERA, in the first half of the season, but a 7.02 in the second half. Early in the season, they were using him to pitch more than an inning fair, but after June 1, he was pretty much a 1 inning guy. I think someone with his history might be better off just pitching 1 inning at a time.

It seemed like a lot of the 'weighted ball' guys ended up on the DL, but then everyone ended on a the DL at some point this year. I don't think there is a magic exercise that will keep pitchers from getting hurt. The weighted ball thing seems to give a pitcher an extra couple of miles per hour, but then an extra couple of miles per hour often seems to be something that brings about arm pain.

The Jays have a handful of guys that could slide into the closer's role, if they were to trade Casey Janssen, Delabar is one of them. When he is good, he's unhittable. I'm happy with him in a setup spot but something that would keep him throwing just one inning at a time might be a good things, considering his history.