Right-hander Dane De La Rosa has a 3.31 ERA through 33 games with 32 strikeouts… (Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images )
DETROIT — Angels Manager Mike Scioscia looks at reliever Dane De La Rosa’s stuff, which includes a big 96-mph fastball and sharp breaking ball, and his track record, which before this season consisted of nine years of professional baseball and only 12 games in the major leagues, and he has trouble reconciling the two.
“Dane has too good a stuff not to have had this opportunity earlier in his career to pitch and stay in the major leagues,” Scioscia said after the Angels’ 7-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night. “Sometimes a player has to find out what isn’t working for him and make adjustments to find out what does work.”
De La Rosa, a 30-year-old right-hander who pitched at Wildomar Elsinore High and Riverside Community College, is figuring it out.
BOX SCORE: Angels 7, Detroit 4
With two on and no outs in the fourth inning and the Angels trailing, 3-2, Wednesday night, De La Rosa replaced starter Billy Buckner and got Omar Infante to fly out to right field and Brayan Pena to ground out to second base.
De La Rosa walked leadoff man Austin Jackson but struck out Torii Hunter with a 98-mph fastball to end the inning. De La Rosa pitched a scoreless fifth inning, part of a strong six-inning body of work for the Angels bullpen in Comerica Park.
De La Rosa was demoted to triple-A Salt Lake for 10 days in early June, but has given up only one earned run in 8 2/3 innings of six appearances since returning. He is 2-1 with a 3.31 ERA in 33 games, striking out 32 and walking 12 in 35 1/3 innings, this season.
“It looks like he’s more decisive,” Scioscia said. “I don’t know if there’s anything tangible in his delivery, but he’s feeling comfortable with his stuff and not trying to create too much and letting his stuff work. He’s pitching with confidence, and right now, he’s throwing the ball as well as any reliever on our team, and it’s important to us.”
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