Jul 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (29) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
We all had a feeling this was coming, after Jorge De La Rosa removed himself from a game last friday against the Oakland Athletics with a strained left groin, but it increasingly seems certain.
According to Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post, De La Rosa probably won’t be ready for the Rockies’ home opener against the Cubs, and may not join the Rockies for a few weeks after that.
From Saunders’ piece:
"He played long toss on Friday and hopes to throw a bullpen session next week. De La Rosa said he’ll begin building up arm strength as soon as his groin is pain free. He figures he needs to pitch in two or three games before he could be ready to rejoin the Rockies. He could pitch in games in extended spring and possibly make a rehab start for Triple-A Albuquerque or another minor-league team."
It goes without saying how badly the Rockies need De La Rosa to be healthy and perform well, so this development is an inauspicious beginning to the year for the starting rotation.
It also raises interesting questions about the feasibility of sticking Jon Gray and/or Eddie Butler in the rotation immediately beginning Opening Day. Both have pitched well this spring and are certainly knocking on the door for big league opportunities. De La Rosa’s delayed return may speed up that process.
And for De La Rosa (or any pitcher), at the very least, just keep telling yourself: at least it’s not his arm.