Jorge De La Rosa underwent Tommy John surgery on his left (throwing) elbow
in June 2011. Twenty months later, and despite an ugly 4-inch scar, the
elbow has healed completely. Now is the time the 31-year-old must show he has overcome the mental uncertainties
that come with the surgery.
"When I got this injury, everything changed
a little bit in my mind," De La Rosa said Monday. "I got a little bit
scared to throw the ball, to be honest" The Monterrey, Mexico
native spent the winter in Scottsdale,
adhering to a strict throwing program to build up
arm strength. By November, the progress was palpable. "I threw, like normal,
with no pain," he said. "I was able to throw my breaking ball. It had
been a long time since I threw without pain. It was nice."
The Denver Posts' Patrick Saunders reports that now Jorge is fine physically. "Perfect, no pain" is how De La Rosa described
The Rockies are
counting on the former sixteen-game winner to make the front end of the starting
rotation. They have penciled him in at the number two spot. Manager Walt Weiss said. "We all know the type of
arm he has. It's electric stuff. But the fact is he hasn't been out there a lot
in the year and a half. There's going to be a period to get him back on track.
We are really counting on him to be a top-of-the-rotation guy."
De La Rosa, previously with the
Brewers and Royals, and author of 54 big league victories, actually made it
back on to the hill last September, when he made three late season starts for the
Rockies. None lasted longer than
four innings. De La Rosa said he pitched late last season, "just to see
where I was at. I wasn't feeling great, but I made some good pitches. So I
think right now I will be better."
It can only be good news for Colorado
to be adding to the top of the Rockies Pile.