It seems like a long time ago that Steve Delabar pitched in an All-Star game. He faced one batter and got a strikeout, back in 2013. It seems to have been downhill since then. Generally, when things like that happen, it means I bought a jersey with the player's name on it, but can't blame me this time.
Post All-Star break, in 2013, he was terrible. 7.02 ERA, 20 hits, 3 home runs, 6 walks in 16.2 innings. We were told that his arm was tired. The only thing he was doing well was getting strikeouts, 24.
2014 was split between Toronto and Buffalo. In Toronto, his strikeout rate dropped (from 32.4% in 2014, to 18.4%) and his walk rate went up (11.5% in 2013 to 16.7%). He was still getting lefties out (they hit .135/.347/.135), when he wasn't walking them.
Last year was, once again, split between Toronto and Buffalo. He did bring up the strikeout rate (23.3%) and lowered the walk rate (10.9%), but he gave up 5 home runs 29 innings.
Do you get the feeling that the weighted ball thing wasn't the career savior that we were told it would be?
Delabar is out of options and, if he's outrighted, odds are he'd decide to be a free agent, unless he really likes pitching in Buffalo. There are a couple of open spots in the bullpen. If he had a terrific spring,maybe he could make the team. I'm sure he's shown up to spring training in the best shape ever.
I'd be very surprised if he does make the team. I figure we'll need an opening in the 40-man, by the end of spring, and, unless Delabar starts throwing like it is 2013, he'll likely to be gone. Then, he has over come long odds once before.
He was a great story. High school pitching coach. Tries out a new conditioning program, adds a few miles per hour to his fastball. Gets a tryoff with the Mariners. Jumps from A-ball, through Double and Triple-A, and reaches the majors, all in one year. The next year, he gets traded, at the deadline, to the Blue Jays (is Eric Thames playing in Korea again this year?). A year later, he's pitching in the All-Star game and Disney ends the movie there "and he lived happily ever after".
It's still a great story, I'm not sure there will be many more Major League chapters to it, but he's played, at least parts, of 5 seasons in the majors. Delabar is 32 now, if there isn't a spot in an MLB bullpen, he does seem like the type that could continue in baseball as a coach.