Steve Delabar, an all-star a year ago, has been sent down to Triple-A Buffalo by the Toronto Blue Jays.
The move was necessitated by a spate of lingering injuries the Major League Baseball club has suffered over the last several days and its desire to try to avoid placing any of the walking wounded on the 15-day disabled list if possible.
That, plus the fact that Delabar still has minor-league options, made him the most logical candidate for the demotion, which has to be for at least 10 days unless the team puts another player on the DL.
“I’m the guy who has options,” the reliever said here on Tuesday shortly after he got the word. “We had to make a roster move and I’m just the guy. They want me to go down, continue to work on some stuff, get back on track to where I was and just be back whenever they need me.”
Delabar is confident he won’t be down in Triple-A for long.
“Well I know what I’m capable of doing and how I can help this team,” he said. “So I know that I will be back and I’ll be here to help.”
The Blue Jays, who opened up a three-game American League East division series here Tuesday night against the New York Yankees, are short-handed with both Adam Lind and Brett Cecil on the limp.
Cecil, a reliever, has a sore groin but is close to returning and Toronto manager John Gibbons said he might even be able to use him if an emergency situation arose on Tuesday night.
Lind, who fouled a fall off his right foot in Saturday’s game, is still hobbling around the clubhouse and is still a day or so away from hopefully being ready, according to the Blue Jays.
To help try and fill the gaps, the Blue Jays recalled popular second baseman Munenori Kawasaki from Buffalo and he will get the start Tuesday night with Juan Francisco handling the designated hitting chores and Brett Lawrie stationed at third base.
Kawasaki has appeared in 44 games for the Bisons this season posting a .276 average with 11 doubles, one triple and nine RBI.
To make room for Kawasaki the Blue Jays tagged Delebar to demote.
Delabar enjoyed a breakout season last year, going 5-5 with a save and a 3.22 earned run average and was named to the A.L. all-star team.
This year, Delabar has not been as effective, struggling with his control and compiling a 3-0 record with a 4.68 ERA.
“Delabar hasn’t performed as well as he did last year, he can use the consistent work,” said Toronto manager Alex Anthopoulos, who joined the team in New York. “It’s just a combination of things. We needed to clear up a spot to get an infielder up here.”