De La Rosa Returns

Jorge De La Rosa, 31, hasn’t pitched in the majors since May 24, 2011 when he suffered an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. This afternoon he returns to face the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. De La Rosa has a player option for 2013 worth $11M and is 39-26 with a 4.38 ERA in four seasons with Colorado.

It'll be nice to see De La Rosa on a major league mound again and not because he's just an old friend but because he's also part of the future. De La Rosa's player option for 2013 assures that he's going to be part of the plan next year. Yes, the Rockies will have a 5-man rotation next year and De La Rosa will be counted on. So, it would be nice if he returned to show us his old form today. 

There's an interesting change in today's lineup that I wanted to touch on. Wilin Rosario is starting at first base today. This is something I've mentioned as a possibility in the past, but I was and remain against any position move for Rosario, who is a power hitter lacking plate discipline. His 21 walks and .294 OBP won't cut it over at first base and it remains to be seen what kind of defender he'll be over there. This isn't the answer to Rosario's problems. The answer would be fixing him behind the plate. I'm not sure how you do that.

This is very similar to the Mariners with Jesus Montero (though the Rockies don't have the benefit of the DH). Providing that Montero improves his batting line at home and against right-handers, he will hit enough as a DH to have value. I'm not so sure about Rosario even if the Rockies could use him at DH. Rosario's defense isn't the only part of his game lacking in a major way. His plate discipline leaves much to be desired. In only 103 games this season his SO/BB is 90/21. Next year he'll be 24-years-old. Jeff Francoeur at 24 had a 111/39 SO/BB in 155 games. Rosario likely won't play that much next year (especially if he is unable to improve his defense), but we could see some ugly numbers from Rosario once the book gets out on his plate discipline. 

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still out of the lineup and hopes to return for the last week of the regular season now. Troy Renck has a piece in the Denver Post about Tulowitzki and the possibility of him switching positions. Tulowitzki seems to brush that notion aside, but he does really want to get back on the field. When that happens is still anyone's guess, but it's good to hear from Tulo nonetheless. 

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