FORT MYERS, Fla. — The stuff is unquestionably major league-caliber.
Rubby De La Rosa showed an electrifying three-pitch mix on Friday against the Pirates, mixing a 94-96 mph fastball with a knee-buckling curve and a nasty, diving changeup at which opposing hitters waved helplessly. It was a three-pitch mix that screamed of top-of-the-rotation potential, the raw materials to be an impact starting pitcher in the big leagues.
The Sox, naturally, are enthused about that possibility. However, there’s a matter of timing regarding the 23-year-old.
After De La Rosa recorded his second straight outing of two scoreless innings (an appearance in which he struck out two and allowed a double), manager John Farrell was asked where De La Rosa will open the 2013 season. His only uncertainty pertained to which minor league level would prove appropriate for the prospect acquired from the Dodgers in last August’s blockbuster trade.
“He’ll be in the minor leagues in some place, whether that’s in Portland or in Pawtucket remains to be seen,” said Farrell. “I think the most important thing is he feels great physically. He’s been a student around [pitching coach Juan Nieves] and [special assistant to the GM Pedro Martinez]. He’s, as we said after the game in st. Louis, he’s a very good-looking young pitcher.”
Asked why De La Rosa couldn’t be a consideration for the major leagues, Farrell suggested that the team’s commitment to his deliberate progression — the Sox are limiting the right-hander to two innings in his spring outings, in deference to the fact that he’s coming off of Tommy John surgery and that he’s never thrown more than 110 innings in a year — and to the long-term view of him as a starter made him a near certainty for the minors.
Because De La Rosa won’t throw more than two innings in any spring outing, the only role in which he’d be considered for the big league roster at the start of the year would be the bullpen. And for now, that’s simply not an avenue that the Sox feel compelled to explore.
“We still want to start him. To put him in the bullpen, given what he’s come through …,” said Farrell, alluding to his surgery. “And our long-term view of him is currently as a starter. That doesn’t mean at some point in the future we wouldn’t look to make the most of the innings he’s gong to give on a given night if the need were to arise here. But our plan is to keep him at two innings through spring training and to build him up once the minor league season begins.”
That, in turn, means that Triple-A Pawtucket — where De La Rosa is almost certain to start the year — will benefit from a glimmering prospect in its rotation. De La Rosa seems likely to make an impact on the big league roster at some point in 2013, but it won’t be in the season’s earliest days.
Rodney Harrison, NBC Sports, joined MFB to discuss last night's game against the Chiefs, the Patriots' issues on both offense and defense, and how he feels Brandon Browner will impact the defense as he returns from suspension.
Greg, Steve and Chris zero in on the O-line specifically and look at what it will take to right the ship. Is the running game a solution or more blocking from TE's, LaFell etc. ?
The boys discuss what is going on with the Pats offense and why Brady has looked a little off so far. Is it O-line or WR issues? They specifically discuss Amendola, Thompkins and Dobson - who's the odd man out?
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Joe Castiglione does his annual wrap-up of the season by reading the poem by Bart Giamatti.
Mut and Rob discuss the "kids" and the variety of young bodies the Red Sox called upon this season. Specifically, they look at Bogaerts and Bradley, Jr. and where things went wrong. They give their opinions on which one will right the ship next season.
Description: Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett looks back at the 2014 Red Sox prospect season by answering listener questions about a number of Red Sox prospects as well as broader issues and themes in the farm system.
DJ Bean, WEEI.com, joined the guys to talk about the Bruins signing two young stars to 1-year contracts.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys opened the show discussing the Pats brutal Monday night loss.
John Dennis left the show mid segment.
A familiar sentiment has arisen regarding the Patriots offense. Tom Brady is locking in on 2 guys (Edelman and Gronk) and no one else seems to be getting a look. A 37 year old, future Hall of Fame QB, has little to no weapons in 2014.
Lou, Christian and Tim break down last night's embarrassing loss on national television. They wonder just how much progress has been made towards building a championship team.
We discuss the Rajon Rondo injury and conspiracy theories, and whether or not his tale about falling in the shower holds any water. Get it? Shower... water? Nevermind.
We bring you the stuff you might have missed that we didn't have a chance to touch on today.
We tackle four topics all inspired by Derek Jeter's long goodbye.
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about Gerry's passionate defense of Tom Brady, going to lunch and clock issues in the third edition of Breaking Balls.
Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett looks back at the 2014 Red Sox prospect season by answering listener questions about a number of Red Sox prospects as well as broader issues and themes in the farm system.
Welcome to the Week 4 Fantasy Football Podcast. Lots of information here starting with Thursday Night Football and what you need to know from a Fantasy Football perspective, the state of the Pats moving forward and the Fantasy Football repercussions involving Tom Brady and company. Is Tom Brady now a Buy-Low Asset? Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson get into it in depth, then hit several other Buy-Low Targets featured in Pete’s latest article http://rotobahn.com/buy-low-sell-high-925/ Enjoy! And make sure you tune in for more on Sunday morning at 6:30am for “The Fantasy Football Hour” on 93.7-FM.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.More from this show