Winter League tidbits: Where is Edgar De La Rosa? (updated)
Back from a long holiday break and ramping up for next week’s Winter Meetings in San Diego. Easing back into the fishbowl, though, are a couple tidbits from winter ball:
1. What happened with Edgar De La Rosa?
He’s a huge presence at 6-foot-8 and 235 pounds, with an upper 90s fastball to boot, but he wasn’t highly touted on the Tigers prospect rankings until he was left off Detroit’s crowded 40-man roster a couple weeks ago, leaving him open to next week’s Rule 5 Draft. Having just turned 24 years old last month, he’s the kind of pitcher who tends to go in the Rule 5, ending up in the back of a team’s bullpen for a season while learning on the job and pitching in low-pressure situations.
If teams are going to look into drafting him, however, they’re going to have to rely on regular-season scouting from his summer in the Class A Lakeland rotation. Though De La Rosa went to winter ball to pitch for Estrellas in the Dominican League, he has pitched in only one game for them, tossing one inning with a run allowed on two hits, a walk and a strikeout Nov. 2.
De La Rosa hasn’t pitched since, at least not with the big club. He is not injured, according to Tigers officials. He just hasn’t been used with the big club,
which is an Estrellas decision rather than coming from Detroit.
(Update: Another Major League talent evaluator said Thursday night that De La Rosa is no longer with Estrellas, and hasn’t been for some time. He’s healthy and throwing, just not in winter ball.)
As one Tigers person pointed out, Estrellas has a pretty good pitching staff, which has put them in a tie for the league lead. Minor leaguers such as De La Rosa usually get their work in early in the schedule before giving way to veterans and big leaguers as the holiday season rolls around.
Further to the point, the Aguilas roster here on MLB.com lists 34 pitchers.
Still, it’s an interesting wrinkle as the Rule 5 Draft approaches. Whether it kept scouts from watching him or not, it likely won’t have a major impact on whether he goes in the Rule 5. He made 26 starts at Class A Lakeland, so it’s not like nobody has seen him. And those who have say he has a good chance to get picked as bullpen arms become more important.
2. Hernan Perez injured in collision
Hernan Perez is back in his native Venezuela playing winter ball for Aguilas del Zulia, but he hasn’t played since last weekend after colliding with another player. Venezuelan journalist Wilmer Reina reported Wednesday that Perez underwent an MRI exam on his right knee, which has inflammation.
A Tigers source said they’re aware of the injury, but that they don’t believe it to be serious. The MRI is believed to be precautionary.
(Update: Reina followed up with a tweet that Perez will rehab at the Tigers’ Venezuelan academy. So while there’s definitely an injury, it doesn’t appear to be serious.)
Perez is batting .196 (9-for-46) in winter ball with no extra bases, no walks and 10 strikeouts.