The first impression of Jorge De La Rosa this spring is nearly identical to his last impression in September. The difference is that when De La Rosa was awful last year, it didn't matter. The Rockies needed the Hubble Telescope to see the Giants in the standings. This month De La Rosa is a focal point because he can change the season's outlook or validate the pessimism.
He's the Rockies' highest-paid player, not just pitcher, on a club that needs competent starters to rebound from the franchise's ugliest season. The important issue is that De La Rosa is healthy. Yes, I checked again Tuesday. He's healthy. But more salient for the Rockies is whether he can heal mentally.
If he can't be effective this year, his three-year contract looms as painful mistake. And so far, he has not been effective.
De La Rosa has been moody on the mound, more like the pitcher he was before joining the Rockies. He has to regain his composure and find ways to focus on the next pitch, not the previous result. That is a priority over the next 24 days. De La Rosa will remain a concern until he proves otherwise. That applies to the rotation as a whole. Following is a roster breakdown at the midpoint of spring camp, starting with the team's biggest concern, the starting pitching.
Rockies analysis by position during spring training
Denver Post | Mar 6