Rubby De La Rosa Will Miss A Year After Tommy John Surgery

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Rubby De La Rosa Injury: Dodgers RHP Needs Tommy John Surgery

If you're a Dodgers fan right now, there's no need to Think Blue ... you probably are blue. Between Frank McCourt, violence in the parking lot and all those injuries, the bad news just keeps on a-coming. This week's bit is no surprise:

After an MRI & doctors' consultation, it was determined that #Dodgers right-hander Rubby De La Rosa will need Tommy John surgeryless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

 

De La Rosa entered this season as the Dodgers' top pitching prospect. He was supposed to open the season in Class AA and perhaps, if everything went well, be pitching for the big club late in the season. The first part of that plan worked, and De La Rosa pitched better than ever. But the timetable got moved up, the 22-year-old skipped Triple-A and made his MLB debut in late May.

After three relief outings, De La Rosa moved into the Dodgers' rotation and went 3-5 with a 3.88 ERA in 10 starts. His control wasn't good, but he threw real hard and was obviously a serious talent.

Now he's obviously going to be out for a while, with a torn Ulnar Collateral Ligament that needs to be replaced by a different ligament completely.

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Rubby De La Rosa Injury: Sprained UCL Bad News For Dodgers Righty

It was bad enough when the Dodgers had to place Rubby de la Rosa on the disabled list with elbow trouble. Nobody likes to see a young talent have any problems with his throwing arm. But de la Rosa still had to be examined, and the examination showed that the flamethrower is dealing with more than simple inflammation. Dodgers Twitter:

Rubby De La Rosa diagnosed with sprained UCL. He is weighing options & determining course of treatment. Unfortunately surgery is an option.

The UCL is the ligament that gets replaced in Tommy John surgery. A sprain means a tear, but a complete tear would be called a tear, so we can assume that de la Rosa has a partial tear. That leaves him with two options: he can have the surgery and miss 12+ months, or he can attempt to work his way back via rehab. Rehab does work for some pitchers, if not a significant number of them, and a successful rehab would allow de la Rosa to be ready in time for the 2012 season, but an unsuccessful rehab would serve as little more than a surgery delay.

Knowing what little I know of de la Rosa's injury, I wouldn't be surprised to see him try the rehab route at first. He could know if it's working within 1-2 months, and if it doesn't work, he can have the surgery without jeopardizing playing time, since he'd be back in plenty of time for 2013. If he has Tommy John surgery, it doesn't much matter whether he has it next week or next month; his 2012's probably shot.

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Rubby De La Rosa Injury: Dodgers Righty On DL With Elbow Inflammation

Sunday, 22-year-old hard-throwing Dodgers starter Rubby de la Rosa labored through four innings against the Diamondbacks. He walked four batters, he threw a wild pitch, and he allowed a pair of home runs. Something seemed to be awry, and on Monday, de la Rosa has landed on the disabled list. Tony Jackson:

Los Angeles Dodgers rookie right-hander Rubby De La Rosa was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday with right-elbow inflammation.

It's unclear how badly de la Rosa is hurt, as this could be major, minor, or somewhere in between. But there aren't any big flashing warning signs in his Sunday velocity, so that's somewhat reassuring. The flamethrower is considered a huge part of the Dodgers' future, and a major injury would obviously be a setback for an organization that's had more than its fair share of setbacks.

John Ely was recalled to take de la Rosa's place. Ely is remembered for posting a 2.54 ERA through his first seven major league starts a year ago. He finished the season at 5.49, though, and he hasn't been much more effective with triple-A Albuquerque in 2011. Not that many pitchers are ever effective in Albuquerque, but Ely has appeared and disappeared from the Dodgers' watch list with remarkable haste. Still, hey, here's another chance. Maybe he'll do something.

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