Red Sox hoping Rubby De La Rosa flashes potential from pre-Tommy John surgery

May 30, 2014 - 4:05 pm

The Red Sox are hoping Rubby De La Rosa can flash the potential the righty showed before the team dealt for him in the deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to the Dodgers. De La Rosa, who had Tommy John Surgery in August 2011, has shown dominance at points for the PawSox so far this season. On the season, De La Rosa has a 3.04 ERA with .218 opponents batting average with 52 strikeouts and 23 walks in 53 1/3 innings pitched. "[Rubby]'s thrown the ball extremely well this year," Alex Hassan said. "He throws three pitches for strikes, his fastball, he's been locating down this year really well. I think he's thrown more curveballs, sliders, more of those this year than I've seen him throw in the past. That has gotten guys off his fastball, changeup because he threw a lot of fastball, changeups last season and he's thrown more breaking balls this season and given hitters one more thing to worry about. He's been dominating in Pawtucket so far." Farrell said the decision to choose De La Rosa over Allen Webster and Anthony Ranaudo was based on the recommendation of the Pawtucket coaching staff, with a focus on De La Rosa's last three starts. "His last three starts have been very good," Farrell said. "There are four pitches to his availability. Strike throwing has continued to maintain and be consistent and above-average and there has been times where the velocity has really climbed to the upper-nineties so he's pitching with some confidence right now." Farrell says improvement in the definition of De La Rosa's breaking ball and changeup have helped him post strong numbers to start. The Red Sox will be looking to evaluate De La Rosa to determine whether his future lies in the rotation or in the bullpen. "This is almost similar to the Brandon Workman scenario where are they going to be a middle reliever or a starter," Farrell said. "Certainly the value of innings by a starting pitcher is much greater and we don't want to close the book on that until he determines what he's best suited for." Farrell has seen a marked difference in De La Rosa's stuff between 2013 and '14. "This year, compared to last year, where it was more rehab year in a sense, this year it was very clear to him that he needed to pitch his way back to the big leagues and take off the restrictions in terms of pitch count and another year further away from the Tommy John surgery," Farrell said. "All of those things add up to a guy that is back to the level that he was prior to the trade against Boston, so there has been more aggressiveness, assertiveness from the mound."