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Red Sox Rumors: Rubby de la Rosa Minor League Bound

Rubby de la Rosa has looked strong in his first two spring training outings with the Red Sox, but he is bound for the minor leagues regardless says manager John Farrell.

J. Meric

The Red Sox netted some impressive young arms in the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to the Dodgers. Allen Webster ranks second among Red Sox pitching prospects by most expert accounts and Rubby de la Rosa is grabbing the attention of fans and players alike in the team’s spring training camp this year, reports John Tomase of the Boston Herald. As exciting as De la Rosa’s potential might be, he is not going to land on the Red Sox roster this April, Tomase relates. Manager John Farrell made that clear-

He’ll be in the minor leagues in some place; whether that’s Portland or Pawtucket remains to be seen. I think the most important thing is he feels great physically."

De la Rosa missed almost all of the 2012 season following Tommy John surgery, but the early signs from Red Sox camp have been encouraging. He pitched four innings in two appearances this spring and allowed just one baserunner while striking out two. Most importantly, his fastball velocity appears to returning to him. In 60 innings with the Dodgers in 2011, De la Rosa averaged 95.2 mph with his heater and the Red Sox are hoping he can still light up radar guns post-surgery.

Teammate Dustin Pedroia has been impressed by the young right-hander-

"He’s got electric stuff. 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.""

De la Rosa is likely to end up in AAA Pawtucket to start the season. Some experts believe that his future lies in the bullpen, but Boston is committed to developing him as a starter, so pitching every fifth day is a must for him right now. If his arm is healthy and he has success in the minors early on, the 23 year old may well be the first line of defense for the Red Sox rotation should anyone fall to injury.

After struggling with dreadful numbers from their rotation in 2012, the Red Sox want to make sure they develop as many young starters as possible. De la Rosa has a chance to be the one of the best so they are not going to do anything to stall his development right now.