Manager John Farrell clarifies, "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."
De La Rosa has been inconsistent in Triple-A this year.
He opened the season dominating hitters with a 1.19 ERA through four starts in which he struckout 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.
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.
This will mark De La Rosa’s first start with the Red Sox, though he has 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 in late 2011.
"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."
It would be a blessing from above should he be able to step into the rotation as Buchholz is falling out of it.
The numbers in Triple-A suggest magical things could happen in Florida as De La Rosa is slated to start on Saturday at Fenway against the Rays.
After coming all the way back from Tommy John surgery, it's his time to shine.
Eric is a contributing writer since 2013 and a true Overseas Fan of the Boston Red Sox living in the Netherlands. He's spent years on baseball fields around the world pitching. His weekends are now spent helping the next generations of pitchers to find their passion and love for the sport. More articles by Eric: https://www.redsoxlife.com/search/label/ericschabell