Just in case you missed Rubby De La Rosa's weekend brilliance, please give the highlights a quick look. Fans of swing-and-miss stuff will not be disappointed.
De La Rosa was recalled from Pawtucket on Saturday because the Red Sox needed a replacement for the injured/bad Clay Buchholz. Rubby proceeded to fire seven nearly flawless innings at the Rays, striking out eight batters, walking none, yielding just four hits (one of which was actually a misplayed fly to left).
If you weren't impressed by the performance ... well, wow. Your standards are pretty ridiculous. De La Rosa's change induced several whiffs, his slider was terrific, and his fastball lit up the gun...
So there's a lot to like here.
In 10 early-season starts at Triple-A, Rubby struck out 52 hitters over 53.2 innings while delivering quality ratios (3.04 ERA, 1.22 WHIP). The next homer he allows will be his first of the season.
De La Rosa was a notable Dodgers prospect back in the day — Baseball America rated him No. 90 overall in 2011 — and he flashed plenty of talent at the big league level for LA. But he underwent Tommy John surgery late in his rookie season, which temporarily removed him from the fantasy conversation.
After Saturday's gem, he's definitely back — and he's available in 89 percent of Yahoo leagues. If you're looking for a mid-season lottery ticket, Rubby is your guy.
De La Rosa was shipped to Boston as a PTBNL in the Crawford-Gonzalez-Beckett mega-deal in 2012, you might recall, and he's clearly worked at his craft in Pawtucket. Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves offered these comments to the Providence Journal over the weekend:
"[Rubby] was given a long list of things to do after spring training," Nieves said, alluding to a consistency of delivery, of command and of between-games preparation. "It was up to him to make sure that every step of the way was taken very seriously."
So far, so good. De La Rosa himself said, "I feel like I've come back."
We're not about to argue with him.