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July 2, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: The Evolution of Rubby De La Rosa


George Bissell

How the D'backs righty has begun to overcome his struggles versus left-handed hitters and emerge as a strikeout artist.

Progress isn’t linear. It’s never been a question of talent with Rubby De La Rosa, but rather doubts about whether he could make the necessary adjustments to remain a major-league starter, without which he’d ultimately be destined to move to the bullpen. It’s been extraordinarily difficult to exercise patience over the last few years with De La Rosa, who has struggled mightily at times. However, the wait for him to unlock his immense potential might finally be over, thanks to a subtle adjustment to his arsenal against left-handed batters and the addition of catcher Welington Castillo.

The De La Rosa project played out like the Star Wars saga in Boston last year. He was flat-out dominant, a true sensation right out of the gate (Original Trilogy), firing seven innings and allowing one earned run or less in six of his first 11 starts. Unfortunately, he failed to reach the seventh inning in each of his final seven outings (Phantom Menace). A slew of lackluster performances (7.11 ERA last September) ultimately got him shipped out of Boston in the offseason.

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Neither the first nor the last reevaluation.

The gods had condemned Collettius to ceaselessly having his most famous trade reanalyzed on the internet, whence the analysis would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless reanalysis.

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Notes on prospects playing abroad, including Mets infielder Wilmer Flores and Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco.

Prospect of the Night: Wilmer Flores, 2B/3B, Mets (Bravos de Margarita, VWL): 3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, BB, K. Flores is already making his case to stick in the majors with the Mets this spring, and if he hits anything like he has this winter, the Mets will find a way to get his bat in the lineup and will be able to ignore his poor defense at second base. Flores is hitting .352/.438/.481 for the Bravos this winter.


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