23-year-old Rubby De La Rosa appeared to be on a rehab path that would see him return to the majors in some role in September, but the Dodgers opted to speed things up a bit, activating him from the disabled list on Tuesday.
The move comes just one year and 12 days after De La Rosa underwent Tommy John surgery. One of the Dodgers’ bright spots for a time last year, De La Rosa had a 3.71 ERA and 60 strikeouts over 60 2/3 innings in 10 starts and three relief appearances in 2011.
De La Rosa is being brought back now after just four appearances in the minors. As you might have guessed, they were very good ones: he pitched 12 scoreless innings, allowing just five hits. However, none of those appearances came above A-ball. In his last appearance, he threw four scoreless innings for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.
De La Rosa projects as a starter for the Dodgers in 2013 and beyond, but it appears as though he’ll work out of the bullpen for now. One assumes the Dodgers will be careful with him and won’t let him pitch on back-to-back days anytime soon. He was being used as a starter in the minors.
Getting the boot to make room for De La Rosa is ex-closer Javy Guerra. That too comes as a surprise, given that he had pitched 11 1/3 scoreless innings in his last nine appearances. He has a 2.66 ERA in 44 innings for the season.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.