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Deep Pickups 6/17: Pitchers

by Nick Nelson
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

Rubby De La Rosa - SP, BOS

Throughout his entire pro career, De La Rosa has always had a penchant for missing bats. As a prospect coming up through the Dodgers system, the Dominican flashed electric stuff when he was able to get on the mound, but unfortunately that has always been a problem.

This is the 25-year-old's seventh year in professional ball. Only once has he thrown more than 100 innings in a season. He underwent Tommy John surgery in August 2011, just after opening some eyes while debuting for LA at age 22, and he has struggled to come back from the operation.

This year, the lefty finally looks healthy and back on track. He opened his season with a strong 10-start stretch in Triple-A, posting a 3.04 ERA while allowing no homers. The success earned him a chance in the Red Sox rotation, and he's making the most of it.

On Monday night, De La Rosa shut down the Twins at Fenway Park, allowing just a single hit over seven scoreless innings. It marked the second time in four starts that he has completed seven scoreless frames in a win.

Granted, the lineups that he has dominated have been Tampa Bay and Minnesota, and both at home. De La Rosa has much to prove since both his outings on the road have been iffy, but his peripherals are very encouraging -- he's getting tons of ground balls and averaging about a strikeout per inning.

He's hardly a household name, but it's not like De La Rosa came out of nowhere. He was a highly regarded prospect when the Red Sox acquired him from the Dodgers, and now that he's able to get on the field and stay healthy, he's reminding us why.

Anthony DeSclafani - SP, MIA

The Marlins shook up their rotation in a major way on Monday, and the headliner in their series of moves was Andrew Heaney, one of the top prospects in baseball who will now get a chance to show his stuff.

Less heralded is DeSclafani, who was also plugged into the starting five from Triple-A. He may lack the top-prospect luster of Heaney, but there's a much better chance he'll be available in a deeper league, and the 24-year-old offers plenty of his own potential.

DeSclafani made his big-league debut in mid-May, picking up a win in Dodger Stadium. He was roughed up in his next start, and subsequently sent down, but has pitched well since his return to Triple-A, with a 3.38 ERA and 21-to-7 K/BB ratio in 21 1/3 innings.

What he lacks in dominant stuff, the former Florida Gator makes up for in polish. During his minor-league career, he has posted a sub-4 ERA at every level, averaging more than four strikeouts for every walk. He has also allowed only 19 home runs in 316 innings.

Pitchers who excel in those categories tend to produce good results. I expect we'll see plenty more performances from the righty resembling the one he delivered in his debut last month.

Nick Nelson
Nick Nelson is a frequent contributor to Rotoworld's baseball coverage and regularly blogs about the Minnesota Twins at Twins Daily. Follow him on Twitter @NickNelsonMN.