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De la Rosa is the Diamondbacks’ best pitcher right now. Really.

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Apr 23, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Rubby De La Rosa (12) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 23, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Rubby De La Rosa (12) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
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Rubby De la Rosa is starting tonight.

And this may be the best guy the Diamondbacks have to take the mound. Seriously.

De la Rosa has been solid since getting shelled in his first start. He has a 3.38 ERA in his last 13.1 innings pitched dating back to April 9– including three relief appearances. In his last start against the Pirates, he allowed just one run on three hits, while striking out six in six innings. It’s looking possible that the former top prospect is beginning to realize his once-promising potential.

While De la Rosa has flourished, the rest of the Diamondbacks staff has been far less succesful. Zack Greinke has been shelled in three of his five outings. Shelby Miller still hasn’t won a game yet. Patrick Corbin has been hot and cold, and Robbie Ray had a rough start this week. Who could have envisioned a scenario like this a few months ago.

Obviously, it’s indefensible to call De la Rosa the best pure pitcher on the team. When you have former Cy Young winners like Greinke, it’s tough to take this spot. But he seems to be the hot hand as of right now, without question.

A lot of people were surprised that De la Rosa was guarunteed a spot in the rotation by Chip Hale so early in spring training– especially on the heels of top prospect Archie Bradley’s presence. De la Rosa was universially considered to be the weakest link in the Diamondbacks rotation at the time. If he keeps pitching like this, however, the Diamondbacks will be vindicated in their decision to start De la Rosa.

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