Twelve games into the 2013 season, the Rockies have five regular starters who have already launched at least three home runs and are currently sporting an OPS north of 1.000. (Dexter Fowler (6 HR, 1.112), Wilin Rosario (4 HR, 1.089), Carlos Gonzalez (3 HR, 1.048), Troy Tulowitzki (3 HR, 1.021), and Michael Cuddyer (3 HR,1.010)). However, as much fun as this has been to watch, these sticks are going to cool off eventually, and when that happens the Rockies are going to have to find other ways to win games.
Enter Jorge De La Rosa who first found his niche in Colorado's rotation a couple of months into 2009. He didn't win his first game of that season until June, but once he broke through he piled up 15 more by the end of September and was an enormous part of the Rockies turning a 20-32 start into a franchise best 92-70 record.
He followed that up with a solid 2010 (although he did spend some time on the DL before the All Star Break) when the Rockies had a winning, but ultimately disappointing season, and was pitching brilliantly in May of 2011 when he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow and needed Tommy John Surgery.
Without De La Rosa, the Rockies closed out the 2011 season with a 49-67 record, and followed that up with the dreadful 98 loss campaign last season. In short, the Rockies really missed their hard throwing lefty.
Yesterday may have been the first real example of how valuable a healthy De La Rosa can be for the Rockies. Instead of the big bats taking center stage like they have for most of the season, Colorado's success instead centered around the pitching of De La Rosa who not only threw up six scoreless frames, but also looked great doing it. Yorvit Torrealba, who caught De La Rosa yesterday proclaimed that #29 is back in this Denver Post article.