Colorado Rockies’ Jorge De La Rosa Is Quietly Reinventing Himself

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Jul 22, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher J. De La Rosa (29) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

As most pitchers do when they age, De La Rosa is changing the way he throws to hitters. After all, what you bring to the mound at 27 will not be the same at 34 (unless you’re an athletic freak), and adjustments constantly happen. De La Rosa is doing this in 2015.

For one, according to FanGraphs, De La Rosa is getting more difficult to hit and he’s throwing more pitches outside the strike zone on which hitters are biting — which is a notable combination.

Hitters have swung at 33% of De La Rosa’s offerings outside the strike zone this season, which is significantly higher than his big league career average of 27.3%, and would be his highest mark as a Rockie should it continue.

Hitters are also swinging and missing at De La Rosa’s pitches more this year; batters are making contact 74.5% of the time they swing the bat against the lefty, which is down from his career average contact percentage of 77.3% and, again, would be his best showing with the Colorado Rockies should he maintain that rate.

Not for nothing, De La Rosa has actually thrown just 39.8% of his pitches inside the strike zone this year — which would also be a career low for him and way below his career rate of 45.4%.

He’s throwing less strikes, but getting more swings and misses. And, as we covered above, while he is walking more people as he throws fewer strikes, his strikeout rate has also increased, too. Let’s see, then… more swings out of the zone, more focus on throwing pitches out of the zone, and less contact when hitters do swing at his pitches. What gives, man?

Next: Different Pitch Selection, Same (Better?) Results