Rockies to get Jorge De La Rosa back Friday

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After missing 10 weeks with a torn tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand, Jorge De La Rosa will rejoin the Rockies’ rotation and start Friday, according to Inside the Rockies.
De La Rosa opened the season 3-1 with a 3.91 ERA in four starts before getting hurt. He’s getting the start Friday despite allowing eight runs — seven earned — and 10 hits over 4 2/3 innings in his last of three rehab starts for Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Bounced from the rotation to make room for De La Rosa will be Jhoulys Chacin. The 22-year-old Chacin was very impressive after moving into the rotation at the beginning of May, going 5-7 with a 3.59 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. He struck out 76 in 72 2/3 innings.
In a mild surprise, the Rockies have elected to keep Chacin in the majors as a reliever. He broke in with the team as a reliever last year, so he does have some experience in the roll. Still, with the move, the Rockies run the risk of not having him ready to step back into the rotation should another injury strike.

Starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani will pinch-hit and pinch-run for the Angels in 2018

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The Angels’ bench is looking woefully thin this winter — so thin, in fact, that manager Mike Scioscia says he’s considering utilizing starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner on the days he’s not scheduled to pitch.

I’ve never had a pitcher pinch-run,” Scioscia told reporters Saturday. “There’s more bad than good that can come out of it. But Shohei is not just a pitcher. He’s a guy that has the ability to do some of the things coming off the bench, whether it’s pinch-hit or pinch-run, and we’re definitely going to tap into that if it’s necessary, because we feel we’re not putting him at risk. It’s something he’s able to do.

Granted, spring training allows for a certain amount of experimentation before managers and players decide what works best for them, so this may not be the strategy the Angels employ for the entire season. In addition to coming off the bench between starts, Ohtani is also expected to see 2-3 days at DH every week, forcing Albert Pujols to shift over to first base to accommodate the new two-way star.

Ohtani’s hitting prowess has already been well-documented — he has a lifetime .286/.358/.500 batting line from NPB and crushed a batting practice home run during his initial workouts with the team this week — but his skills on the basepaths have received less attention so far. MLB Pipeline describes the 23-year-old phenom as a “well-above average runner” whose speed has yet to manifest stolen bases: he’s nabbed just 13 bases in 17 chances over the last five years. That’s a number Scioscia hopes to see increased this season, though he doesn’t want his ace pitcher making any head-first slides on the basepaths to do so.

To be sure, it’s an unorthodox role for any young player to step into, but if anyone can pull it off, Ohtani can.