Rubby De La Rosa to start for Clay Buchholz
|05.30.14 at 12:23 am ET|
De La Rosa has been inconsistent in Triple-A this year. He opened the season with absolute dominance, a 1.19 ERA through four starts in which he seemingly punched out or got a groundout from every batter he faced. Then, he struggled over his next four starts, forging a 5.95 ERA while walking 16 in 19 2/3 innings. However, in his two most recent starts, he bounced back with a 1.64 ERA with 13 strikeouts, three walks and tons of groundballs in 11 innings.
The decision to call up De La Rosa over Allen Webster, Farrell said, was based on “the recommendation of the staff in Pawtucket. You look at their numbers overall on the course of the year, they’re pretty similar. The last [two] starts for Rubby have been strong. And that was pretty much the deciding factor.’
While Saturday will mark De La Rosa’s first start with the Red Sox, he’s worked in a big league rotation before. In 2011 with the Dodgers, he was 3-5 with a 3.88 ERA, 8.9 strikeouts per nine innings and 4.9 walks per nine innings in 10 starts before he blew out his elbow, resulting in Tommy John surgery.
Amidst the four-start season-opening stretch, De La Rosa — who struggled at times in 2013 while working his way back from Tommy John surgery he underwent in late-2011 — suggested that he was throwing the ball better this year than he was in that promising big league unveiling.
“I’ve been working on keeping my ball down, throwing strikes, working with my off-speeds, mix it up a little bit, making the hitter confused. It’s worked. I’m happy with the results — a lot of groundballs,” said De La Rosa. “I made a lot of adjustments this year compared to last year. This year, I feel like my arm is completely loose. I feel I can get through my pitches, throw the ball anywhere.
“Right now, I feel better [than in 2011],” he added. “In 2011, I kept the fastball up. Right now, I feel like anything I want — if I want the fastball down, I can do it. In 2011, I felt good. All that year was great. But my feeling this year, I feel more positive, more healthy.
“I feel good. I feel ready. There’s no more [concern] about my arm,” said De La Rosa. “I feel prepared for that moment [in the big leagues]. I feel like how I felt before. My arm feels 100 percent. I feel good in my body, mentally, physically. I feel good for that moment. Right now, I feel 200 percent. I feel like everything is going in the right spot.”
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