The Red Sox didn’t just give Adrian Gonzalez and Co. to the Dodgers last August. They received some major talent in return.
Exhibit A: fireballing right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, who dazzled last night in just his second spring training appearance, striking out two in two scoreless innings in the Sox’ 5-2 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
De La Rosa, who earlier this spring discovered he’s a distant cousin of Pedro Martinez, appears to possess some of the same magic in his right arm as the former Red Sox great. And let’s just say the Red Sox are intrigued. Very, very intrigued.

“He’s got electric stuff,” second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “We’re glad to have him. You can never have enough pitching, and it’s pretty exciting, the guys we got in that trade. They’ve got some great stuff. Getting young talent like that, especially pitching, those are prized pieces. This will be huge for our team.”
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, manager John Farrell basically put the kibosh on De La Rosa opening the season with the Red Sox, noting that the club isn’t comfortable throwing him in the bullpen at the expense of his development as a starter. Further complicating matters is the fact that De La Rosa has never thrown more than 1101⁄3 innings in a season, thanks to 2011 Tommy John surgery that limited him to 132⁄3 innings last year.
“He’ll be in the minor leagues in some place; whether that’s Portland or Pawtucket remains to be seen,” Farrell said. “I think the most important thing is he feels great physically. He’s been a student around (pitching coach) Juan (Nieves) and Pedro. As we said after the game (against) St. Louis, he’s a very good-looking young pitcher.”
Last night he featured an explosive fastball that reached 96 mph, but even more impressively, a dominating changeup and well-commanded curve. The calendar reads March, but the hitters are still in February, and De La Rosa’s basically pitching in July.
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