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Saturday Rockpile: Is Jorge De La Rosa an All-Star?

Jorge De La Rosa has quietly put together a very good first half of 2013, but is he worthy of a trip to the All-Star Game?

Jorge De La Rosa will be looking for his ninth win of the season against the Giants tonight.
Jorge De La Rosa will be looking for his ninth win of the season against the Giants tonight.

Troy Tulowitzki has nearly double the All-Star votes of his nearest competitor at shortstop, and Carlos Gonzalez will almost certainly be voted into the game by his peers if not by the fans, but should the Rockies be sending a starting pitcher to Citi Field next month?

Jorge De La Rosa has, without much fanfare, been very good in his first 16 starts of 2013, posting a 3.16 ERA to go with an 8-4 record, 1.29 WHIP, 33 walks and 61 strikeouts in 93 innings. He is also in the top 10 among NL pitchers with an ERA+ of 141 and the Rockies are 11-5 when he starts.

If he is selected to the All-Star Game, De La Rosa would be the sixth Rockies starting pitcher to earn that honor after Mike Hampton in 2001, Shawn Chacon in 2003, Aaron Cook in 2008, Jason Marquis in 2009 and Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010. De La Rosa's 2013 numbers actually compare pretty favorably to the first half numbers that the Rockies five All-Star starting pitchers compiled in the first half of their respective All-Star seasons.

In the final season before the humidor was installed at Coors Field, Mike Hampton started the year looking like every bit of the $120 million pitcher the Rockies paid for, he went 9-5 in 18 pre-ASG starts with a 4.02 ERA and 1.50 WHIP while walking 47 and striking out 67 in 121 innings. Hampton was one of three Rockies all-stars in 2001 along with Todd Helton and Larry Walker.

Shawn Chacon was a pleasant surprise in the first half of 2003, with a 4.27 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 17 first half starts, posting an 11-4 record with 40 walks and 72 strikeouts in 105 1/3 innings. He represented the Rockies at the 2003 All-Star Game along with Helton and Preston Wilson.

With Clint Hurdle managing the 2008 NL All-Stars, Aaron Cook represented the Rockies after getting wins in 11 of his 20 starts in the first half while posting a 3.57 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 138 2/3 innings with 31 walks and 67 strikeouts. Teammate Matt Holliday was voted into the 2008 game by the fans.

The following season, Jason Marquis also posted 11 first-half wins with a 3.65 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 18 starts. He walked 40 and struck out 58 in the first half and represented the Rockies at the 2009 All-Star Game along with Brad Hawpe.

In 2010, Ubaldo Jimenez had easily the best first half of any Rockies pitcher ever, posting a 15-1 record and 2.20 ERA in 127 innings over 18 starts. He walked 46 and struck out 113, earning the starting nod in the 2010 All-Star Game. Tulowitzki also represented the Rockies in 2010.

De La Rosa certainly faces stiff competition for an All-Star Game berth, as seven NL pitchers have sub-2.50 ERAs and five have a WHIP below 1.00. However, De La Rosa is sixth among NL pitchers in rWAR, only trailing Matt Harvey, Clayton Kershaw, Cliff Lee, Adam Wainwright and Rockies teammate Jhoulys Chacin. De La Rosa may not be an easy choice as an All-Star, but whether or not he deserves to be is certainly a discussion worth having.


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