Jorge De La Rosa doesn’t get enough props. Some LHP last a long time and get opportunities because 1) they are left handed and 2) they are breathing. De La Rosa was signed by Arizona as an International Free Agent in 1998, was purchased by a Mexican team in started off in Milwaukee in 2004 before heading to Kansas City in 2000, purchased from the Mexican team by Boston in 2001, was traded to back to the Diamondbacks in the Curt Schilling deal, then was dealt to Milwaukee in the Richie Sexson deal before being traded to Kansas City for Tony “freaking” Graffanino in 2006. He was eventually traded to the Rockies for Ramon Ramirez as the player to be named later in March of 2008. Beyond the trades, De La Rosa has been an interesting player. From 2004 to 2007, he made 97 total appearances, including 54 starts. He was 15-23 in 274 IP with a 5.85 ERA. Since arriving in Colorado, he has gone 39-26 in 495 2/3 IP with a 4.38 ERA. At the age of 30, De La Rosa was finally becoming a legitimate mid-rotation starter, as he has been lowering his WHIP by walking fewer batters over the last several years. When he blew out his elbow Tuesday, his WHIP was just 1.19, and he took the Rockies investment and season with him when he walked off of the mound. He had just signed a two year, $21.5 million deal this winter.
Now, the Rockies will rely on Jhoulys Chacin, Jason Hammel, and a severely struggling Ubaldo Jimenez to get the ship back on track until mid-2012. Greg Reynolds looks to have a chance at De La Rosa’s roster spot until Aaron Cook is healthy. They may give a look to Juan Nicasio, a 24-year-old RHP in Double-A who is 5-1 with a 2.22 ERA and 63/10 K/BB in 56 2/3 IP. This is a devastating blow to the immediate future of the Rockies, as De La Rosa’s presence made the long term investments of Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki afterthoughts, as the Rockies will have to win games without a very solid rotation going forward. He meant more to the Rockies than some have given him credit for, and his injury shows just how vulnerable their rotation was.