The article that would normally be posted here this week in the A Look to the Future series will not be seen today. Instead, we bring you the following...
On August 25, 2012, the Boston Red Sox were spiraling towards a last place finish under manager Bobby Valentine. Ben Cherington, in his first season as General Manager pulled the trigger on an org changing trade, sending Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers. They also sent roughly $25 million of the remaining salary owed to those four players. This is what many Red Sox fans have taken to call the Punto Trade.
In return, the Red Sox received James Loney (now with the Tampa Bay Rays), Jerry Sands and Ivan de Jesus (both traded to Pittsburgh in the trade that brought Brock Holt to the Red Sox), Allen Webster (currently in the starting rotation for AAA Pawtucket)
And Rubby De La Rosa.
De La Rosa was considered one of the Dodgers' top prospects. Featuring a blistering fastball in the upper 90s and a changeup taught to him by future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez, many scouts called De La Rosa a future top of the rotation starter. He was considered by many to be the prize of the Punto Trade.
Today, De La Rosa was called up from Pawtucket to replace the injured Clay Buchholz.
It was a much anticipated start for Rubby De La Rosa.
He did not disappoint.
Using a variety of pitches, including a fastball that topped out at 100.5 and a devastating changeup, De La Rosa kept the Rays off balance for seven very strong innings. In the seven innings, De La Rosa gave up just four hits and zero walks against eight strikeouts. He seemed to get stronger as the outing went further along. It was almost comical at some points how bad the swings Rays batters were taking at De La Rosa's pitches were.
There have been people that wondered if De La Rosa may be destined to be a closer. I think this start shows that it's too early to pull the plug on the idea of De La Rosa as a starting pitcher.
Let the Rubby De La Rosa era begin!