When rosters expanded on Monday and the September call-ups were announced by the Toronto Blue Jays, one name was conspicuously left off; reliever Steve Delabar. Sent down to the minors on June 20th on what was originally meant to be a short trip to refine his mechanics and inflate his confidence, Delabar never resurfaced from Triple-A Buffalo and then was omitted when the Blue Jays would have optimally called him up.
So why not bring back Steve Delabar?
MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm got to the bottom of the Delabar mystery on Tuesday night, rallying Scooby, Shaggy, and the rest of the gang and loading them up into the mystery it machine to solve the enigma. In his piece, Chisholm notes that the Blue Jays made the decision to rest Delabar and allow him to focus on coming back stronger in 2015.
Poof, mind blown.
Manager John Gibbons summed it up pretty simply in Chisholm’s piece:
"“With Delabar, the whole idea is let him go home and rest. It was kind of a tough year for him up here and down there it was kind of mixed results. We figured he might be better off, going home and resting, getting ready for next year.”"
That decision may actually be for the best, as the 31-year-old was obviously not in a good place in 2014. After working back-to-back solid seasons for the Blue Jays in 2012 and 2013, including an All-Star campaign last season that saw the right-hander post a 3.22 ERA, 2.72 FIP, and a 12.6 K/9 ratio in 2013, Delabar slipped badly in 2014.
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Control was the decided culprit this season as Delabar struggled with command, posting a career-high 6.7 BB/9 ratio. Considering that hitters only reached Delabar for a .207 average and a .235 BABIP (Batting Average Balls in Play), his ballooned ERA of 4.91 and FIP of 5.58 were a likely a bi-product of the walks and timely hitting from opponents.
Delabar did enjoy some improved results at Triple-A Buffalo, as you would expect from a 31-year-old, but they were moderate. While his ERA and FIP improved to 2.89 and 4.29 respectively, and his K/9 definitely jumped from 7.36 to 12.21, his control still eluded him with Delabar still walking 5.79/9IP.
With the Blue Jays bullpen in a bit of transition, with Sergio Santos not likely to be brought back and Casey Janssen also likely to leave via free agency, a reinvigorated Delabar may become a crucial component next season.