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Dodgers web musings: Rubby De La Rosa looking like the real deal

March 19, 2011 |  1:57 pm

Rubby-delarosa_325 Rubby De La Rosa was veritable unknown last spring, a skinny kid from the Dominican Republic. He started the season at Class-A Great Lakes.

Only De La Rosa exploded upon the scene, dominating at Great Lakes and then at double-A Chattanooga. He was a combined 7-2 with a 2.37 earned-run average and a 1.13 WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched).

He was selected the Dodgers organizational pitcher of the year, though he seemed a long way from cracking the 25-man roster.

De La Rosa, 22, might start the season at Chattanooga, but Dodgers.com's Ken Gurnick said De La Rosa has been so impressive this spring, he could be pushing himself into the Dodgers’ plans sooner than most expected.

Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt told Gurnick there are similarities to De La Rosa and Clayton Kershaw when he was coming up and fast-tracked to the majors:

"Yeah, he's got a lot of positives. A plus arm, 'pitchability.' A little wild with the fastball at times, but he always came back. The changeup is filthy. If I had that, I wouldn't throw anything else. But he can throw 97 [mph]. The one thing is throwing consistently for strikes. But a 20-year-old won't have everything figured out."

[Update:] This original post relayed information taken directly from the Dodgers media guide that De La Rosa had been suspended for 50 games for a drug violation in 2009, but the media guide is incorrect. He was never suspended. My apologies do De La Rosa.

Also on the web:

-- In a video interview with Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, outfielder Andre Ethier talks about coming back too soon last season at the urging of Joe Torre.

-- Reliever Mike MacDougal (unscored upon in 5 1/3 spring innings) is examined by two bloggers. Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness’ Mike Petriello is conserving his enthusiasm for the well-traveled 34-year-old, while True Blue LA’s Eric Stephen still doesn’t believe he’ll make the final roster.

-- Baseball Savvy’s Howard Cole has another installment profiling bloggers, this time dipping into the airwaves with a question-and-answer piece on Fox Sports’ Patrick O’Neal.

-- Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci says the Dodgers are one of five MLB teams with the best chance to go from a losing record to the postseason.

-- Memories of Kevin Malone's Chad Moriyama gives a long look at outfield prospect Trayvon Robinson.

-- Fox Sports’ Joe McDonnell is the latest to profile the attempted return to form of Matt Kemp, who said he’s lost 16 pounds.

-- The New York Post’s Brian Costello writes Torre’s difficult departure from the Yankees is behind every one, after Torre accepts an invitation to participate in their Oldtimers’ Day.

-- In evil Giants news, ESPN.com’s Jim Caple writes that you’ll be stunned at what the reed-like Tim Lincecum calls a meal at In-N-Out.

And Rosenthal said the Giants might have another can’t-miss, Buster Posey-like prospect in first baseman Brandon Belt.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Rubby De La Rosa delivers a pitch during a spring game agianst the Cubs earlier this month. Credit: Julie Jacobson / Associated Press

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