One positive to come out of the Dodgers 1-to-0 loss to the Twins, the 8th time the Dodgers have been shut out this year if you’re keeping score at home, was the performance of rookie Rubby De La Rosa. He had by far his best start of his young and hopefully long big league career. He went 7 strong innings only giving up only 1 run on 6 hits and more importantly just 2 walks.
Today he looked much more relaxed and had much better command of his fastball, mainly because he wasn’t trying to throw it through a wall. In previous starts he was lighting up the radar gun at 97 and 98 MPH while walking batters left and right. Today he sat at a comfortable 94 MPH for most of the game and you could just tell he had better command of his fastball, which made all of his other pitches that much more effective.
He still dialed up the heat when he needed to though. For example, with two outs in the 6th inning and two strikes on Danny Valencia, Rubby painted the outside corner of home plate with a 98 MPH fastball. I Tweeted at the time, that call me weird but 98 MPH on the black is just plain sexy, yes I know get a life.
It was a tough luck loss for young Rubby, but that’s life as a Dodgers starting pitcher these days. At least he didn’t pull a Ted Lilly, who is quickly becoming very average and very hittable. Unlike the 35 year old Lilly, who the Dodgers owe $22 million dollars to in 2012 and 2013 I shudder at the thought, Rubby kept his team in the game but the anemic Dodger offense just couldn’t score.
Scott Baker controlled the Dodgers throughout the contest, allowing only 2 base-runners to reach third base. Rubby now has thrown 72 innings so far this year. He threw a career high 110 last year. At 10 games below .500, as the Dodgers played their 82nd game of the season i.e. the beginning of the second half of the year, the Dodgers need to keep an eye on Rubby’s innings.
They should let him throw no more than 150 to 160 innings keeping him on the Clayton Kershaw pitching plan and in doing so protect the multi-million dollar right arm of young Rubby. Kershaw went from 107 innings pitched in his rookie year to 170 the next, and I think it’s safe to say we are all happy with his progression.
Rubby should be on the same program and should also be placed on the same list as Kershaw, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Dee Gordon, Jerry Sands, Kenley Jansen, Chad Billingsley, Trayvon Robinson and Zach Lee. That would be the list of Dodgers who are untouchable. I’m sure there are several more names that should be added to that list but it’s late and I don’t need to go into too much detail, the point is Mr. Colletti should not even consider discussing any of these players names in trades.
Tomorrow we will hand out our first half grades for the Dodgers beginning with Mr. McCourt and going all the way down the roster, it will be about a 5 thousand word article due to the number of players the Dodgers have used thus far this season. Ok I won’t go into that in-depth of analysis but I will closely examine the off-season spending Mr. Colletti did in terms of bringing in free-agents and based on statistical analysis place a grade on each free-agent in terms of cost, production and overall value both short and long-term to the franchise.
Juan Uribe specifically may not want to stop by Lasorda’s Lair tomorrow as I don’t think you’ll like to see on paper just how little of a return you have provided on the $21 million dollar investment the Dodgers made in you. By the way a story popped up today about the Giants being interested in re-acquiring Uribe’s services, from Giants beat writer Andrew Baggarly. If only we could dream. Have a read it’s quite funny cause Baggarly literally got the following call from GM Brian Sabean shortly after writing his story:
"UPDATE: GM Brian Sabean just called up to the press box to shoot down this rumor. He told PR man Jim Moorehead to relay to me that he has not talked to Dodgers GM Ned Colletti in weeks. As I wrote, the information came through an indirect channel. I suspect the Dodgers likely were calling teams to shop Uribe, but that’s obviously much different than Colletti and Sabean talking about a deal. Anyway, all those cards are on the table."
Well we had a slim glimmer of hope for just a moment right? But today despite the loss we got a taste of just how talented young Rubby De La Rosa is and let’s hope he doesn’t follow a similar path to another young flame-throwing Dominican the Dodgers had several years back. About the only thing that could have made the Chapter 11 filing by Frank McCourt any worse would have been seeing Delino DeShields name listed as a creditor.
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