Aaron Gleeman

Munenori Kawasaki; Esmil Rogers; Steve Delabar

Blue Jays demote former All-Star Steve Delabar to Triple-A

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Steve Delabar was an All-Star in 2013 and now he’s headed to the minors. Or headed back to the minors, more accurately, because Delabar was bad enough last season that the Blue Jays sent him to Triple-A for a couple months.

Still, upon his demotion today the 31-year-old reliever expressed shock and said he wasn’t happy with the move, which is understandable. Delabar’s problem is always throwing strikes consistently, which he didn’t do last season, but he still posted a not-horrendous 4.91 ERA in 26 innings and has a career ERA of 3.72 ERA with 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings.

Taijuan Walker has thrown 18 scoreless innings this spring

taijuan walker getty
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After an injury wrecked 2014 season the Mariners chose not to hand a rotation spot to Taijuan Walker, making the 22-year-old former top prospect compete for a gig.

Presumably he’s done enough to get the job, throwing 18 scoreless innings with a 19/4 K/BB ratio, including six shutout innings against the Cubs yesterday.

Walker also has a 2.89 ERA in 53 career innings for the Mariners–which is just enough to make him ineligible for prospect lists and the Rookie of the Year award–and has always dominated in the minors.

It’s a year later than expected, but it looks like Walker is ready to make a big impact in Seattle. And he’s still just 22.

Dellin Betances: My velocity is “nowhere near where it should be”

Dellin Betances Getty
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Dellin Betances hasn’t been his usual dominant self this spring and the Yankees right-hander seems particularly worried about his decreased velocity, telling George King of the New York Post:

I haven’t asked about it, but it’s nowhere near where it should be. The more I pitch, that will come. Last year in spring training I trusted it more. This year I am trying to do too much instead of trusting what I have. The more I pitch the better I feel. I have always been like that.

It should be noted that decreased velocity for Betances still means throwing 92-94 miles per hour, but he averaged 96.6 miles per hour last year and topped out at triple-digits.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi indicated that he’s not worried now, but will be if Betances doesn’t add a few miles per hour between now and Opening Day. Girardi hasn’t said whether Betances or Andrew Miller will serve as the Yankees’ closer, but regardless of the role Betances is one of the team’s biggest keys following a spectacular rookie campaign.

Dodgers reliever Brandon League is headed to the disabled list

Brandon League
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Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles reports that Dodgers reliever Brandon League “felt discomfort” in his shoulder when he tried throwing Tuesday and will undergo an MRI exam.

League was shut down about two weeks ago with shoulder pain and was trying to resume a throwing program, but this setback means he’s headed for the disabled list even if the MRI exam reveals nothing major.

League allowed zero home runs in 63 innings last season, posting a 2.57 ERA after struggling in 2013, and with Kenley Jansen also on the disabled list to begin the season the Dodgers’ bullpen will be very short-handed early.

Anthony Rendon’s odds of being ready for Opening Day are “pretty slim”

Anthony Rendon
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Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon remains sidelined by a sprained MCL in his left knee and he’s just about run out of time to be ready for Opening Day.

The good news is that an MRI exam showed no structural damage, but his knee remains sore and Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com writes that his “chances of being ready Opening Day at this point are pretty slim.”

Rendon was injured on March 9 and is said to have made improvement, although initially the Nationals indicated that they thought it was a 2-3 day injury.