FORT MYERS, Fla. — A case can be made that Rubby De La Rosa, the 23-year-old with the high-octane arm whom the Red Sox acquired from the Dodgers last August, has as big a ceiling as any pitching prospect in the organization. With a demonstrated ability to hit triple digits on the radar gun as a starter and a swing-and-miss changeup and curveball, if De La Rosa can make a full recovery from Tommy John surgery (which he underwent in August 2011) and hone his command of the incredible stuff he displayed prior to the procedure, he could be special.
Still, while he has a measure of big league experience, having gone 4-5 with a 3.96 ERA in 14 games (10 starts) with 60 strikeouts and 33 walks in 61 1/3 innings, the Sox will move deliberately with him this year. That is not simply in deference to the fact that he’s still working his way back from Tommy John surgery, but also to the fact that he’s never had the sort of workload as a professional that would allow the team to turn him loose.
De La Rosa’s career-high in innings is 110 1/3, a mark he reached in Single-A and Double-A in 2010. He tore his Tommy John ligament in 2011 after ticking just past 100 innings between Double-A and the majors.
So, the Sox are mindful of the twin need to regulate his workload both given the stage of his recovery from surgery and because his workload baseline remains relatively modest.
What does that mean? The Sox are unlikely to use De La Rosa during spring training in stints of more than two innings. The team will likely maintain innings restrictions on him early in the season, and then slowly build up the length of his outings towards the middle of the year. There’s no hard and fast innings target for the right-hander for the season, though certainly, if he could build on his prior career-high of 110 innings — perhaps by moving up to 120 or 130 frames — that would represent a player development success in the eyes of the organization.
The planned gradual progression of the right-hander suggests that he’s unlikely to represent a big league rotation depth option at the beginning of the year. While he may become a consideration for the big league rotation in case of injury or underperformance as the season progresses, that likely won’t be the case in April and May. He represents too valuable a long-term asset for the Sox to let him operate at full throttle in the short-term.
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Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy
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Joe and Tim talk with the Red Sox skipper John Farrell about the turnaround from last season with his club and how hard they worked to reach this point
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Glenn, Lou and Christian joke around with audio from a grab-bag of topics, including David Ortiz driving for Lyft, Rex Ryan joining the Buffalo media conference call, and Jim Mora coming back with another great rant.
Red Sox President of Baseball Ops. Dave Dombrowski checks in with Glenn, Lou and Christian to talk about what the playoff roster might look like, and to give the latest update on Pablo Sandoval.
Tom E. Curran joins Glenn, Lou and Christian to talk about Jimmy Garoppolo & Jacoby Brissett, and talk about what he say from a day of practice and press conferences down at Gillette.
Vintage Rex today... while Belichick is deep in to game film and preparation, Rex is making practical jokes against Julian Edelman and getting testy with the Boston media.
John joins us from NY and tells us why he left Price in, what to expect from the rest of this Yankees series, and more.
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Kirk Minihane sits down with the Boston Globes Sports Media Columnist, Chad Finn. Kirk and Chad talk about the long and storied feud between WEEI and the Boston Globe and the ongoing ratings war between WEEI and the Hub.
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Gerry Callahan and Jeff Kuhner react to the first presidential debate of this election season. Gerry is convinced Trump lost the first debate while Jeff thinks otherwise. Gerry and Jeff talk about what Trump needs to do better in the upcoming debates.
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