Jon Lester left Thursday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays with an apparent hip injury after pitching masterfully for 7-plus innings. This comes after word that Clay Buchholz will have to remain out a few more days with his injured neck not fully healed.
Yup, the top two pitchers on the Red Sox staff are ailing. Never good news for any team, but especially these Boston Red Sox, the team with the best record in the American League and tied for the most wins in baseball (48).
We’ve already seen Allen Webster come up and make a few starts, as well as Alfredo Aceves bouncing back and forth between Boston and Pawtucket. There’s one other name out there as a potential future starter for the Red Sox and another guy who would fit perfectly in the Sox bullpen. I’ll label them the “De La Brothers” for now.
Starter Rubby De La Rosa and reliever Jose De La Torre are finding their groove in Pawtucket and will most certainly be called up to the big leagues sometime this season, if not before the September roster expands to 40.
De La Rosa came to Boston via the blockbuster trade last season with the Dodgers. He was impressive in Spring Training and is showing midway through his season with the PawSox that he’s got everything the scouts said he had and then some.
Rubby De La Rosa is 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA for Triple-A Pawtucket.
He picked up just his second win of the season Thursday night against Toledo, 3-0. He went 5.2 innings with six strikeouts, six hits and no walks. In 14 starts, he’s 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 55.1 innings and has allowed 15 total runs, nearly just one run per game started.
De La Rosa figures to make the Red Sox roster at some point this season and could very well be a staple for the Boston rotation after Spring Training next year. Pedro Martinez has worked hard with De La Rosa on his changeup and believes he could be the next big thing.
If Pedro is raving about him, then you know he must be good.
The other “De La”, De La Torre might be having an even better season out of the pen. He is 3-1 with a 1.77 ERA in 20 games (35.2 innings). He followed De La Rosa in Thursday’s game, pitching two innings with one strikeout and no hits nor walks.
Jose De La Torre pitched for Puerto Rico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He is 3-1 with a 1.77 ERA for the PawSox this season.
He played a big part in helping Team Puerto Rico reach the championship game of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, and has carried over that determination and domination to Pawtucket.
I was on hand for the game and De La Torre just simply gets “it”. His arm action is that of a whip and he likes to get the ball, get on the mound and go. I was thoroughly impressed with his stuff. He looked like he was head and shoulders above the Triple-A batters and I believe he would fit nicely in the Sox bullpen, perhaps in place of a Clayton Mortensen or Alex Wilson. I wouldn’t call him a setup man just yet, but De La Torre could pitch in the seventh or eighth innings, giving Junichi Tazawa a break or leading into Tazawa or Andrew Miller.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see these two make their way to Boston this season. Just don’t be shocked if they stay there.