Colorado Rockies 2015 Crystal Ball: Jorge De La Rosa

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Sep 12, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (29) throws the ball against the St. Louis Cardinals during the fifth inning at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

As the season gets underway, RoxPile.com is making some fun (but completely unqualified!) predictions about how members of the Colorado Rockies will fare this summer. In this edition: Jorge De La Rosa.

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Jorge De La Rosa, who just turned 34 on April 5th, started the season on the disabled list for the Colorado Rockies, but it now appears he’ll be back in time to join the club once they need a five-man rotation April 14th in San Francisco.

That’s good. The Rockies will need him this summer. If he can continue to do what he’s been doing the last several years in Colorado – starting 30+ games, winning at home, providing the Rockies some dependability and consistency in the rotation – he’ll be worth every penny of the contract extension he signed during the season last summer.

What The Numbers Say

FanGraphs lists various projection systems, which you can learn more about here.

The projection numbers are skeptical of De La Rosa’s health this season (and they were before the groin injury), only believing De La Rosa to start 23 or 24 games, win 9 or 10 of those, and throw between 120 and 140 innings this summer.

Obviously, that would be a let down after his past two years tossing 167.2 and 184.1 innings across 30 and 32 starts, respectively, while winning 16 and 14 games. While the groin injury may only cause De La Rosa to miss one start, missing another eight to ten would trigger a rotation free fall if options like Jon Gray and Eddie Butler don’t quickly – and consistently – step up in his place.

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  • Best-Case Scenario

    In the best-case scenario, I think we’d all love to see De La Rosa give us more of what he’s given us the past two seasons.

    De La Rosa became much tougher to hit in 2014, allowing just a .263 batting average against (down from his career .299 BAA) and 1.24 WHIP (down from 1.44) while striking out 6.79 batters per nine innings and walking just 8.7% of hitters (down from 10.4%).

    If he can start 30+ games and win 15(ish) of them while continuing to improve on those numbers, he’ll be doing more than enough to anchor the rotation and give the Rockies a chance to win every fifth day.

    Worst-Case Scenario

    De La Rosa has enough of a track record with the club that his blow-up likely won’t come from ineffectiveness, but rather, injury. Remember, he’s lights-out in Coors (well… as lights out as a pitcher can be), and he’s had several double-digit win seasons with the club, so I can’t imagine the wheels fall of if he’s healthy.

    The worst-case scenario, rather, centers on his groin or any other injury that may crop up during the year. If the groin injury becomes a bigger problem than one rehab start in Albuquerque, and he misses a few months with it or another injury, losing De La Rosa’s 160-190 innings would be a blow difficult to withstand.

    Crystal Ball

    As with Tulowitzki, I’m bullish on De La Rosa being solid again this season. He may not repeat his twice-achieved 16-win total (2013 and 2009), but I think it’s entirely possible for him to go 14-10 in 31 starts/180 IP with a 4.05 ERA for the Rockies this year – and Lord knows, they’re going to need it.

    Give us your predictions!

    Comment below, find us on Facebook, or tweet us @RoxPileFS and let us know. You can also use the hashtag #RoxCrystalBall.

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