Rob Delaney made his major league debut on September 4 and turned 26 days later. During Delaney’s brief appearance in the bigs, he threw in the low-90 with a slider. Most scouting reports suggest he relies on his control rather than stuff, as Twins’ arms are wont to do,
Delaney’s minor league numbers are phenomenal, with a 2010 strikeout rate exceeding one per inning. He has spent each of the last two seasons in the high minors, with a career strikeout-to-walk ratio in Triple-A of 3.42. Such statistics earned him a favorable comparison from PECOTA last season (Luke Gregerson), although his second comparison is more earnest (Calvin Medlock, formerly of the Durham Bulls). Meanwhile, ZiPS compared Delaney to Dan Giese, Rob Blazier, and Steve Bray. ZiPS also projected Delaney to finish this season with a 5.07 ERA, which should tell you a little something about those comparisons.
At 6’3”, 230 or so, Delaney is a large fellow with plenty of hips to rotate. He went undrafted and can grow a fabulous mustache, suggesting that, if nothing else, he’ll take Dale Thayer’s role in fuzzy-lipped relief pitcher purgatory. One interesting note about Delaney’s usage in the minors: his innings per outing ratio, as he’s topped the 80-innings mark in the past two seasons while making 62 and 61 appearances respectively. He’s never made a start in the minors, but it appears he could be someone used in a mop-up role if necessary.
The Twins added Delaney to the 40-man roster in late 2009 and optioned him down in 2010, meaning two options remain. Since the Rays claimed him on waivers, he will be added to their 40-man roster, thus filling the open slot and meaning the official signings of Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon will require at least two additional moves.