40 Man Roster Review: Rubby De La Rosa

With Spring Training less than a month away, the Red Sox 40 Man Roster should be fairly set until the end of camp. I'll take this opportunity to review the entire roster. Lets face it, there's not much else going on.

If it wasn't enough that the Red Sox were able to unload so much salary in the Megadeal, the club also got  talent in return.  They acquired two of their top five prospects in the deal in Allen Webster and De La Rosa.

Expect to see De La Rosa in Boston at some point in 2013.
De La Rosa is a short, hard throwing righty from the Dominican Republic with an outstanding changeup.  That profile will lead to comparisons to Pedro Martinez, De La Rosa's boyhood hero.  The 205 pound De La Rosa has a sturdier frame than Martinez did which hopefully bodes well for his shoulder going forward.  His elbow on the other hand has already broken down, as his Big League debut season was cut short as De La Rosa required Tommy John Surgery.

That De La Rosa was rushed to the majors in 2011 by the Dodgers belies the fact that he should still have some development left in him.  His inconsistent control and slider lead some to believe that his future lies in the bullpen. De La Rosa is still only 24 and missed most of his age 23 season while rehabbing his elbow.

Soxprospects.com projects De La Rosa as having a ceiling of a "number three starter on a first division team."  A fair comparison to me would be a good Ervin Santana season.  If De La Rosa can develop into a 200 plus inning guy in the middle of the rotation with power stuff that can play in the postseason, the Megadeal becomes more of a coup.

There is still a chance De La Rosa doesn't develop further and becomes a power arm out of the bullpen.  In another organization that doesn't have the rotation depth the Red Sox look to have, and/or a club that is in win-now mode could easily pull a Joba/Feliz/Contreras with De La Rosa.  Clubs that were seduced by the young, power arm and wasted their ace potential as starting pitchers to prop up their major league bullpens.  De La Rosa doesn't have the upside that those pitchers had, but he will have more of an opportunity to realize it.

As of right now De La Rosa figures to start the season in Pawtucket and is next in line should any of the Red Sox hurlers go down with injury.  Or if John Lackey still is the worst pitcher on the plant and the club realized the fans have suffered enough.

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