Dodgers pitcher Rubby De La Rosa delivers a pitch during an exhibition game… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)
And now for something unexpected, which is not the same thing as saying it’s unwelcome.
The Dodgers surprisingly reinstated right-hander Rubby De La Rosa from the disabled list Tuesday and optioned former closer Javy Guerra to triple-A Albuquerque.
So slightly a year after undergoing Tommy John surgery, De La Rosa is back with the Dodgers, Guerra is likely down until rosters are expanded on Sept. 1 and rookie right-hander Shawn Tolleson is still here.
It’s a rapid return for De La Rosa, who had been impressive since returning to action. In 12 innings spread between Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and the Arizona League, he had yet to allow a run.
“I can’t believe I’m here,” De La Rosa said.
The Dodgers were not going to have enough time to stretch him out to starter’s innings – the minors' regular season ends the first week of September – but he was pitching well enough that they felt he could be an effective weapon as a reliever during the stretch.
Last season De La Rosa, the organization’s minor league player of the year in 2010, went 4-5 with a 3.71 ERA (13 appearances, 10 starts). He was hitting 100 mph on the speed gun before injuring his elbow.
He has been hitting in the mid-90s during his time with Rancho Cucamonga.
“I’m still a little scared to put in all of my gas,” De La Rosa said.
He said he thinks he could hit 100 again, however, if he wanted.
Guerra started the season as the Dodgers’ closer, but after saving seven games in his first eight opportunities, he started to struggle and lost his job as closer to Kenley Jansen.
Guerra is 2-3 on the season with a 2.66 ERA and eight saves. His ERA had ballooned to 5.40 in early May, but he had been on something of a roll of late. He had not allowed a run in his last nine appearances.
It was pretty much assumed Tolleson would be the next reliever sent down, though it was more anticipated the move would be for a position player. The Dodgers currently have 13 pitchers on their roster.
Tolleson – last season’s minor league pitcher of the year – is 1-0 with a 3.15 ERA.
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