Most people will see this and think: “Wow, that’s great for him!” What I see is a colossal failure by MLB teams. Why wasn’t Delabar exposed to better training methods before he flamed out, or after he was injured, by MLB organizations?
People like Dave Cameron have posted how ridiculous it is that teams don’t provide adequate nutrition for their minor league baseball players, and this philosophy certainly extends into training as well, as evidenced by the Delabar story.
It’s easy to point to Steve Delabar and say: “Wow, what a great story! A guy who came back despite facing major adversity and made his mark in major league baseball!”
But the story is far more complex than that.
For every Delabar out there, there’s many more Jason Neighborgalls (the golden arm) who needs unconventional coaching and doesn’t get it, and eventually quits baseball or becomes severely injured, ending his career. There’s no reason that Delabar should have been released from professional baseball and forced to find his own velocity training program. Major league organizations should have rehabilitation plans for their fringe guys and should have experimental plans for their non-prospects (like Delabar) to get the most they can out of so-called “organizational players.”
Organizations that have lower payrolls can’t just get the most out of their top prospects if they hope to compete in the playoffs. They need to develop their organizational players and develop “lesser talented players” into players who can contribute at the highest level. And it shouldn’t be up to the Steve Delabars of the world to find out how to break back into professional baseball.