D-backs call up De La Rosa for bullpen help
The Arizona Diamondbacks knew they were going to need some additional help in the bullpen for this four-game series against the Brewers after throwing 9.2 innings in the finale against the Dodgers on Wednesday.
The D-backs decided to make a move and call up Eury De La Rosa from Triple-A Reno on Thursday.
Before the series opener against the Brewers, De La Rosa talked about what it was like getting the good news.
“If you imagine getting the news that you’ve wanted to hear since you were a baby,” De La Rosa said, “it’s almost inexplicable how exciting the news is and it’s great.”
The 23-year-old will be making his Major League debut, and manager Kirk Gibson had high praise for his ability and demeanor.
“He’s just kind of a little gamer deluxe,” Gibson said. “Not intimidated, just kind of comes right at you and throws several pitches, can throw strikes, holds runners well.”
De La Rosa was 1-4 with a 5.14 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 37 appearances with the Aces this season. In six Minor League seasons, the southpaw is 8-13 with 29 saves and a 2.87 ERA in 185 games.
He admitted that it’s been an up-and-down year for him, more down than up lately.
“It started out pretty good but just like any season it has its low points and high points and lately it’s been a little less good than it was before, but I just keep working hard and getting better,” De La Rosa said.
He’s limited left-handed hitters to a .177 batting average and he’s recording nearly 10 strikeouts per nine innings. He started playing for the D-backs in the Dominican Summer League in 2008 and worked his way up the system the past six years.
De La Rosa seems ready for the adjustment to the big leagues.
“For me, baseball is basically the same, whether it’s Single-A or whether it’s the big leagues,” De La Rosa said. “It’s always the same, and if this is the level you want to play at, and this is the level you want to get to, than you can’t have fear because otherwise you’re never going to get here.”
Arizona’s bullpen has pitched 281 innings this season, which ranks 15th in the big leagues. They’ve also blown a Major League-leading 19 saves thus far.
“We continue to kind of go through the guys that we’ve seen in spring training and we may continue to go through more,” Gibson explained. “I’ve told you guys before that there’s somebody in our organization that’s gonna end up having an impact that we’re not looking at. They may get that opportunity and tonight [De La Rosa] is one of those guys.”
Gibson said the lefty could be a two or three inning guy depending on the length of the innings.