Colorado Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa was picked as the ace of the staff because he won 16 games last season and has as nasty stuff as anybody in the league.
The mental side of De La Rosa has been questioned since he got into the big leagues in 2004. He can look frustrated and bothered on the mound. When a call or something doesn’t go his way it seems to derail the lefty.
And that was been very evident in his first three starts this season which have him sitting with an 0-2 record and a 9.36 ERA. Not the stats the Rockies are looking for from their ace.
De La Rosa is yet to get out of the fifth inning in any of his starts. His first game against the Miami Marlins he had the blowup with catcher Wilin Rosario. The next start he couldn’t throw strikes and threw over 100 pitches in four innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks — a game the Rockies actually won.
Then Friday night against the San Francisco Giants was unreal. The lefty was staked to a 3-0 lead but gave it all away. The comeback by the Giants included a grand slam by pitcher Madison Bumgarner. He drove in five runs total in a 6-5 San Francisco win.
De La Rosa again had problems throwing strikes in Friday’s loss. He threw 81 pitches with only 45 of them being strikes. That ratio is not ideal to say the least. The Rockies don’t score five runs in San Francisco very often. It is a game they have to win but when their No. 1 starter can’t out of the fifth it is trouble.
The Rockies are at a turning point already with their rotation. Tyler Chatwood is making his debut on Sunday and Franklin Morales is moving to the bullpen. Colorado won’t be moving De La Rosa to the bullpen or the minors but they have to start evaluating him a little bit.
The lefty is in a contract year. The Rockies picked up his option for this season with a $11 million price tag. Next season he is able to hit the free agent market. This could end up being a big decision for Colorado as De La Rosa struggles this season.
De La Rosa was dominate in spring and looked to have his mind right heading into the season. Now he looks lost and not confident in his pitches. If the Rockies fall out of contention he could be on the trade market with his expiring contract.
The Rockies always knew they would be in for a wild ride with De La Rosa and this season could turn out to be the wildest.
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