With news out of nowhere today that the Dodgers had reinstated Rubby De La Rosa to the big league roster, the roller coaster ride of understanding had just begun.
For starters, the emotion was relief, that De La Rosa was finally making his return to the Dodgers after months spent rehabbing his elbow in the wake of Tommy John Surgery. Remember, De La Rosa, the 23-year-old right hander, posted a 2.89 ERA in his final five starts last season, striking out 29 batters in just 28 innings.
Just seconds later, however, my thoughts turned to confusion as I read that the player leaving the big league club was former closer Javy Guerra. Initially, the move made some sense as the polarizing Guerra has had his struggles this season, but a look into his recent numbers does little to explain the decision.
In Guerra’s past 11 1/3 innings dating back to July 28, he has allowed just seven hits and no earned runs while striking out 13 batters. So again the question was asked, why Guerra?
While I’m sure answers will come out over the next 24 hours, the obvious answer appears to be that Guerra was the only guy who could get sent down to Triple-A without being waived. The logical choice for removal would have been Jamey Wright, whose 4.08 ERA is 1.42 points higher than Guerra’s, especially since De La Rosa could fill the role of long reliever if need be.
(As a side note, this doesn’t appear to be because of any injury to Guerra, as he was optioned, and not placed on the disabled list).
With that said, however, it is just a guess — and one that hopefully is met with an answer at some point.
Regardless of why it was done, I’m thinking that with a full five-man rotation already in place, that De La Rosa’s role this year is in the bullpen and not as a starter (barring any collapses from Joe Blanton or Aaron Harang).
So sure, it’s a confusing move to take, but the positive here is that Rubby De La Rosa is back — and here’s to hoping it’s the same Rubby we came to love last season.