I am no scout nor am someone who ever pitched in any competitive baseball game. That didn't stop me from heading out to Rancho Cucamonga to watch two Dodger pitchers begin their rehab assignments and write this short summary of what I saw.
The starter was Ted Lilly, who has been out since prior to Memorial Day. Going into the game, I thought Lilly would pitch 3 innings tonight but instead he pitched 2 innings. He was fine, nothing spectacular, I think for Lilly is about recovery and building up arm strength. After going just 2 innings, I think the earliest might be sometime in the middle of the August at best for Lilly.
So after Lilly pitched 2 innings, in came Rubby De La Rosa. The first time I saw De La Rosa pitch in person that I can remember was the last exhibition game in 2011. He pitched against the Mariners on a cold Wednesday night. He just dominated them for 5.2 innings and I was excited about his future.
Tonight, against Cal League players, De La Rosa went 3 shutout innings (2 more than I thought he would pitch), struck out 3 (including 1 out of the stretch who swung and missed a 97 MPH fastball), 2 scratch singles and 1 walk. His fastball was sitting around 88-93 (lower end in the 3rd inning of work) but he got it up to 96-97 MPH, also threw some breaking balls around 83-87 MPH.
I think the other think noticeable was his body language, he looked comfortable out there, there was no concern about letting the ball go and he competed on every pitch.
Lastly, I quote one sentence from tonight's Dodgers.com story (mistakenly says 2 IP for each pitcher):
Both pitchers could be called up during August or September in either a starter or reliever role.
I will be watching to see how the Dodgers plot out Rubby's workload in August but he might just be their best option for another starter this season.