De La Rosa, whom the Red Sox acquired last August as part of a nine-player trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, has made just one major league appearance since 2011. This marks the second time the Sox recalled him from Triple-A Pawtucket but he has yet to make an appearance in a Red Sox uniform. De La Rosa is 3-3 with a 4.23 ERA in 20 starts with the PawSox this season.
The Sox optioned reliever Pedro Beato to Pawtucket to make room for De La Rosa.
With the Red Sox bullpen overtaxed, De La Rosa will be the first available arm if starter Jake Peavy struggles in his Red Sox debut.
“Given what we’ve gone through the last couple of days, in the event of something unforeseen, this was Rubby’s fifth day and scheduled for a start, so we felt like we needed to cover ourselves if we needed a guy to go four or five innings,” explained Farrell.
Farrell has been paying close attention to recent scouting reports on De La Rosa.
“Lately, the first couple of innings, first three innings of this last start were strong,” Farrell said. “I don’t want to say the game got away from him, but there were inconsistencies with overall command. He’s been down there the entire year and we felt like it, based on what he had done for the better part of the year, in addition to the calendar, it was time to get him here and take a look at him in this role.”
He made only one major league appearance for the Dodgers in 2012 after returning from Tommy John surgery. So, at the start of spring training, the Red Sox were careful with De La Rosa.
“Coming into spring training there was a pretty clear-cut plan on how we were going to increase his innings load,” Farrell said. “To keep him, one, as an option in the rotation, and two, if we got to this point is he a candidate to go to the bullpen, and having enough innings pitched that if he does finish the year as a reliever, it wouldn’t be a huge jump next year if he goes back into the rotation.”
Farrell doesn’t think De La Rosa is discouraged that it took all the way to August to get his chance with the Red Sox.
“No, nothing he would say or do outward, but I think it’s probably human nature that here’s a guy who’s pitched in the big league already, is coming off the surgery, see the numbers of guys who might have gone passed him, or got the call before he did, I wouldn’t say it would be uncommon one might feel that way,” Farrell said. “This recall wasn’t about feelings, let’s make that first and foremost clear. This is a guy who has tremendous stuff that fills a need we have right now.”
Beato began the season in Pawtucket and has had three stints in Boston. In nine relief appearances for the Red Sox, the right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA. Beato suffered the loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night at Fenway Park, allowing the go-ahead solo home run to Cody Ross in the seventh inning as Arizona finished with a 7-6 victory.
Some other pregame notes:
* Red Sox catcher David Ross, who has been on the disabled list since June 18 with a concussion, caught a few bullpen sessions Saturday afternoon, and if he continues to progress there’s a possibility he could begin a minor league rehab stint next week. Before a decision is made, concussion specialist Dr. Micky Collins will examine Ross one more time.
* Left-handed pitcher Franklin Morales (left pectoral strain) is scheduled to throw 30-35 pitches in his third minor league rehab outing Saturday for the PawSox at Buffalo. Originally, the plan called for Morales to throw back-to-back days this weekend, but the Red Sox decided it would be best if he instead worked multiple innings in one game.
“We had talked about the fact he had thrown, I think, 13 pitches each of the first two outings, so we felt like let’s go ahead and five him a more extended outing rather than go back-to-back,” explained Farrell. “That’s kind of where we are right now. If he were with us right now, if he were to be activated, he wouldn’t go back-to-back days right now, so we just kind of amended the plan.”
In his previous two rehab outings, Morales has worked a total of two scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
* Right-handed pitcher Alex Wilson (right thumb strain) has made two rehab appearances with the PawSox and is scheduled to pitch again on Monday. He’s allowed three hits and one run, with one walk and one strikeout.
“He’s scheduled right now for two innings on Monday and reevaluate at that point,” Farrell said. “But consistent velocity that he showed here prior to the injury yesterday in Pawtucket. Came out of it feeling fine.”
* With De La Rosa in Boston, Red Sox pitching prospect Anthony Ranaudo will make his Triple-A debut Sunday in Buffalo. He was promoted from Double-A Portland on Friday. With the Sea Dogs, the 23-year-old right-hander was 8-4 with a 2.95 ERA in 19 starts.