Rubby De La Rosa May Have Finally Turned the Corner
Rubby De La Rosa has always flashed glimpses of the potential he has as a starting pitcher. Starting in 2011 for the Los Angeles Dodges at the age of 22, he posted solid numbers, but after just two years, was moved to Boston. After another two years in Boston, he was promptly moved to the Arizona Diamondbacks who now hope he'll be a staple in their rotation.
The season started about as anyone could have expected for De La Rosa. He was rocked by the Chicago Cubs' powerful offense to the tune of six earned runs in just 3.1 innings. If that wasm't bad enough, he was then demoted to a relief role for three of his next four appearances.
The Diamondbacks then decided to put him in the rotation last week against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and De La Rosa responded with a nice outing. In six innings, he held the Pirates to just one earned run and was able to strike out six.
That start appears to have helped him gain some confidence, as last night he put on a show against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals. Not only did he reach 10 strikeouts, but was able to hold a good Cardinals offense off the score sheet while picking up the win. As this tweet points out, this was something Arizona has not seen in quite a while.
Rubby is the first #Dbacks pitcher since Sept. 19, 2011 to toss 7+ scoreless innings and strike out 10+ batters. pic.twitter.com/3VHErib0Ae
— #DbacksSocial (@Dbacks) April 29, 2016
Despite his poor start to the season, De La Rosa currently boasts an extraordinary SIERA of 2.95 to go along with a strikeout rate of 27.45% and a miniscule 7.84% walk rate. If he were to continue at this pace, he would top his career numbers of 4.07, 19.1% and 8.5%, respectively.
The one concerning stat that may come back to hurt the Arizona hurler is his opponent's .254 BABIP, which is about 50 points below his career average. However, considering he has a left-on-base percentage of 65.9%, nearly seven percentage points lower than his career average of 73.6%, that boost may cancel out any additional runners he allows on base.
As he's been throughout his career, expect De La Rosa to continue to be inconsistent from start to start, but his last two starts suggest he may have perhaps turned a corner to a new level he has yet to show on a start-to-start basis. If he continues a strikeout per nine innings rate of 10.65 and a WHIP of just 1.10, its hard to see him regressing far from his nERD ranking of 55.
Maybe the team just needs to keep letting him wear the retro jerseys.
Rubby looks even better in the throwbacks: https://t.co/AGWVHn3Khp #ShowStopper pic.twitter.com/jIL0pwDkaa
— MLB (@MLB) April 29, 2016