At the start of Spring Training, Rubby De La Rosa was considered to be the Diamondback’s weakest link in an otherwise strong rotation. Today, the inverse is true– and the case could be made that he has been the team’s MVP thus far.
Seriously. If it weren’t for Rubby De La Rosa, the Diamondbacks might be eight games out of first place by now.
De La Rosa has been the Diamondbacks’ only consistent pitcher as of late, going 3-1 with a 1.93 ERA in his last five starts dating back to April 23. He’s striking out more batters; 33 in 32.2 innings, and opponents are only batting .154/.233/.265 against him. It has been a good month or so for De La Rosam up until he had his last start skipped due to an injury.
He looks even better when juxtaposed with the rest of the Diamondbacks rotation. They have the fourth-worst rotation ERA in the National League at 4.75, just the Reds, Rockies and Brewers have done worse. Zack Greinke, Patrick Corbin and Robbie Ray have been wildly inconsistent. Shelby Miller has been consistent– consistently horrendous. De La Rosa has been the lone bright spot in the rotation this season. Had it not been for him, the Diamondbacks would easily have the worst rotation in the NL– and maybe in all of baseball.
It’s reasonable to think that De La Rosa will go back to his mid-four ERA ways that had plagued him in the prior three seasons. But it is also possible that De La Rosa is realizing the potential that made him one of the Dodgers top prospects in 2012 and the key player shipped to Boston in the Carl Crawford/Josh Beckett/Adrian Gonzalez trade. The Diamondbacks obviously hope that the latter is the case.
Going forward, the Diamondbacks will need to improvement from the rest of the rotation. If only Zack Greinke could pitch like Rubby De La Rosa…