The Blue Jays released Steve Delabar and Randy Choate this morning, though they are hoping Choate will accept an assignment with the Buffalo Bisons.
For Delabar, it's the end of his time with the Jays. He was a great story. Giving up on baseball, after an elbow fracture in 2009, Steve became a substitute teacher and high school pitching coach. He used the 'weighted ball' program with his pitchers and found it worked well for him. He found he could throw a mid-90's fastball again and got a tryout with the Mariners. By the end of the 2011 season, he was back in the majors.
A deadline trade, for Eric Thames, brought him to Toronto and for about a year, he was terrific. At the All-Star break, in 2013, he had a 1.71 ERA and had struck out 12.4 batters per 9 innings, earning a spot on the AL All-Star team.
Things went downhill quick after that. He had a 7.02 ERA after the All-Star break. 2014 and 2015 were spent traveling back and forth between Toronto and Buffalo.
He didn't have a bad spring. 7.2 innings, 5 hits, 1 home run, 3 walks and 8 strikeouts, but he would have had to be almost perfect to make the Jays.
My favorite memory is him coming into a game in Oakland and striking out the side on 9 pitches. But then, a couple of days later, he ended up on the DL.
When he was good, he was fun to watch, getting batters to chase his split finger fastball, low and away. Hopefully he can catch on to a spot with another team.
Beyond that, there isn't much for Blue Jays news. They are to announce who will be closer later today and will pick their fourth outfielder sometime in the next couple of days. I'm thrilled to see that Aaron Sanchez gets a spot in the rotation. I hope they won't be impatient with him. I hope they stick with this decision. Buster Olney picks him as an "Under the radar breakthrough player", mentioning his "remade body", but also mentioning that he'll likely be limited to around 160 innings.
I also hope that Drew Hutchison goes down to Buffalo and is great and is ready when he gets his chance. He had an ok spring, 11 hits in 19.1 innings, but gave up 8 walks.
Gibby says that Marco Estrada is likely to start the season on the DL. I think we knew that was coming, but first I've seen that the Jays have said that might happen.