Let me open with a number of qualifiers. I do not have sources. I know nothing of what happens in the Colorado Rockies’ locker room or what the dynamics are between Jorge De La Rosa and management. Finally, everything might end up being just fine with De La Rosa, as these early struggles in his first three starts might simply be blips on the radar of an otherwise solid season.
With that, allow me to pose a question: does drama lie ahead for the Rockies and De La Rosa?
I have three factors in mind as I ask this. The first is De La Rosa’s history of being a hot head, a guy prone to meltdowns. The second is the tension between him and catcher Wilin Rosario. And the third reason is his contact situation, with no extension in place for the free-agent-to-be and early grumblings that the Rockies plan to extend him a qualifying offer this off-season.
I find it unfair to speculate about what De La Rosa is thinking, because I have no idea. So I am not here suggesting that he is crumbling because of the pressure of a contract season or anything else. It just feels, at least early on, like this combination of factors has the potential to create an explosive situation if the results on the mound don’t improve.
De La Rosa has long been one of my favorite Rockies, so I hope that things turn around quickly. If it’s a fit, I hope he is with the Rockies beyond this season. But this just has a lousy feel to it early on, like the problems are more than just a few rough starts. Speaking of a situation with a Rockies starting pitcher that got ugly, check out this quote from Carlos Gonzalez after Friday night’s loss to the Giants:
Things got out of hand. Everybody is going to go through tough moments. There are a lot of opportunities for him to get back to where he was last year and even better. I am not worried. I would be freaked out if it’s like Ubaldo (in 2011) and it’s the all-star break and he’s still not pitching well. Right now it’s only three starts.”
To even begin to consider the comparison is enough to make any Rockies fan feel uneasy. Let’s hope against hope that, even if De La Rosa does not immediately regain his form as an ace, that at least these meltdowns stop happening.