Though the Rockies took home the ‘W’ in the first game of the doubleheader yesterday, they ended up losing big.
Jorge De La Rosa, who has been pitching like the staff ace this season, left the game in the third inning with pain in his left elbow. An MRI after the game revealed a completely torn Ulnar Collateral Ligament, and will require season-ending Tommy John surgery to repair.
It will be at least June of 2012 before we see De La Rosa in a Rockies uniform again.
It’s ironic that this devastating injury comes on one of the few days the sun shone down on Coors Field.
So what comes next?
The good news is that Clayton Mortenson has been pitching well, Greg Reynolds is back for a second tour with the club after impressing at Triple-A Colorado Springs, Esmil Rogers is just days away from beginning a rehab assignment, and Aaron Cook has thrown the ball well in Double-A Tulsa as part of his rehab assignment.
As for the starting pitchers still healthy? Ubaldo Jimenez has put everything back together, recovering from his hip flexor, groin injury, and cuticle cut, and came one hit away from earning his first victory of the year in his last start against the Brewers. Jhoulys Chacin has been just as solid as De La Rosa, and save for a rough game yesterday against the Diamondbacks, has been nearly unbeatable.
There’s no question this injury hurts the Rockies a lot, but it’s not like the Rockies don’t have options. Pitching is finally one of this team’s strengths, and though everyone on the pitching staff needs to step up for the rest of the year, this season is far from over.