Friday Rockpile: Jorge De La Rosa's velocity doesn't match early struggles

Doug Pensinger

DLR has had an uptick in velocity, but it hasn't helped him enjoy success ... yet. Plus, Adam Ottavino's wipeout slider, Troy Tulowitzki's injury "problems" and more.

Tyler Skaggs among pitchers with improved velocity and ERA projection - MLB - ESPN (Insider)
Who else is among those pitchers? Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa, who has enjoyed a two mph tick in his fastball velocity. Well ... I guess I shouldn't say ENJOYED, considering he's got a pair of bad starts under his belt. But, De La Rosa has started slowly before picking up the pace in the past, and I wouldn't be shocked to see him do the same this year. Here's the blurb on Jorge:

De La Rosa had a long road back following Tommy John surgery in 2011, as he missed the remainder of the 2011 season and nearly all of the 2012 season. He bounced back with a highly successful but, in some ways, unconvincing year in 2013. His 3.49 ERA last year masked the fact that his strikeout rate and his velocity fell short of where they were prior to his injury.

While De La Rosa has been hit hard in each of his starts this year, his velocity appears to be back, and in fact has been a touch higher than it was before the tear. His higher velocity carries considerably more predictive power than the home runs he has allowed thus far, and instead of being dropped in deep fantasy leagues, he should be getting scooped up.

Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa trying to rediscover 2013 form | Rockies.com: News
Speaking of JDLR, he's pretty chipper despite his rocky start, writes Thomas Harding. De La Rosa needs to avoid the mood swings that have plagued him at various points throughout his career if the Rockies want to remain relevant late into the season.

Colorado Rockies at San Francisco Giants - April 11, 2014 | MLB.com Preview
Colorado's bullpen hasn't been good for certain parts of this season -- mainly, two games in Miami and one in Denver -- but as a whole, the unit has performed well and come up big in key situations, notes Harding. The good version of the 'pen will need to surface this weekend in San Francisco, where the Giants have beaten the Rockies countless times in the late innings over the last half-decade or so.

Armed with sensational slider, Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino on roll - The Denver Post
Ottavino has been terrific in five scoreless ppearances in the early going, striking out 10 batters while issuing no free passes and allowing only two hits. In fact, Ottavino really has been nothing short of masterful ever since the day he put on a Rockies uniform, and Troy Renck believes the slider is a huge reason why. Renck is right, according to Fangraphs, which has Ottavino's slider at 25.3 runs above average over the past two-plus seasons.

Time off for Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki not unusual among MLB shortstops - The Denver Post
Renck notes that in a normal, non-2012 season, Tulo doesn't miss much more time than the average top-10 MLB shortstop. Unfortunately, the guy will continue to receive more vitriol from the fans than any player not named Wilton Lopez.

And, to top off the Rockies links for the day, a former Colorado baseball star was perfect on Thursday:

Around the league

Danny Salazar strikes out 10, doesn't make it out of 4th - SBNation.com
Cleveland's second-year hurler did something on Thursday that hadn't been done in at least 100 years.

Michael Pineda has some 'splaining to do, is possibly cheating - SBNation.com
Either Pineda is a really poor wiper or he has something on his hand that he's not supposed to. Either way, it's no good.

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