The Rockies' pitching staff has always been problematic at best. There have been bright spots and dark blotches, but in recent years, we've seen pitching get better and better. Is it an effect of the Humidor? Is Bob Apodaca the next Leo Mazzone? Is our farm program just doing that much better at churning out Major League caliber pitchers? Whatever it is, the pitching staff was something special last season, despite the team's overall poor performance. Who is on the docket for the 2009 season is what Counting Rocks is exploring leading up to March.
Continuing the series on the Rockies 2009 rotation (as I see it) will be our number 4 pitcher:
Jorge De La Rosa
#29 / Pitcher / Colorado Rockies
Apr 05, 1981
You could dub De La Rosa's 2008 as the Tale of Two Pitchers.
JDLR, yet another trade recipient of Dan O'Dowd's, came to Colorado near the end of Spring, 2008, in exchange for relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez. He began the season in AAA with Omaha Royals, and then made his first appearance in Colorado against the LA Dodgers. He went 4.0 innings, struck out 4, walked 3, and gave up 9 earned runs. Boy, great trade, Dan.
He did cool down a bit from that line, posting the following 1st half numbers:
Find out more after the jump.
It was a pretty poor showing, but there was a lot more to take out of his performance than simply the numbers on the statline.
Just looking at these numbers, JDLR's peripherals look downright impressive. Slightly-below-average control, downright Elite strikeout rates.
Seriously though, look at these numbers. His BABIP suggests he’s getting unlucky, and explains away his H/9, but he’s striking out a third of the outs he’s getting. He’s clearly leaving the ball up, as evidenced by his HR/9, but his control is suggesting that he’s doing a passably good job of controlling baserunners. Who is this guy?
Now let’s take a look at his numbers in the 2nd half.
What happened? This can’t possibly be the same guy as the first half. Better ERA, fewer dingers, he’s looking downright solid. This is a guy you want on your pitching staff!
Just to reinforce this, let’s take a look at his peripherals:
His K rate decreased, he got wilder, but he got LUCKY on balls in play! He did, however, keep the ball in the park well. Seriously, who is this guy?