Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez made headlines earlier this week when he gave a Rolex watch to Oakland Athletics catcher John Jaso. Jaso was playing for the Mariners and working behind the plate when Hernandez pitched a perfect game last August. Everyone from both clubhouses thought of the gift as a nice gesture.
Another such gesture could come from Colorado Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa. Rather than reward his teammates after he tosses a perfect game or a no hitter, he could reach out to them because they came to his rescue.
Three innings into Tuesday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, De La Rosa found himself on the losing end of a 4-2 score. Had it not been for Carlos Gonzalez‘s two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning, De La Rosa would have been well on his way to a loss.
Perhaps a Rolex would be over the top for such a situation, but a steak dinner might be appropriate. Since De La Rosa is standing to make $13 million this season, it might be a good idea for him to open a revolving-door account at the local Morton’s. On Tuesday, it was Gonzalez. As the season progresses, De La Rosa could find himself owing, in similar fashion, Troy Tulowitzki, Dexter Fowler or Todd Helton.
De La Rosa has a career record of 25-11 at Coors Field, which is where he’ll get most of his starts this season. He also has a bloated ERA of 4.65 in Denver. If you do the math, it means that De La Rosa needs his teammates to score plenty of runs on the days that he pitches. On Tuesday in Milwaukee, eight was enough.
De La Rosa was sidelined by elbow surgery in 2011 and returned to the mound late last season. He was able to make three starts, though the results weren’t very good. With a new season came optimism and De La Rosa told MLB.com that he was “back to finding me.”
By the looks of his first start of the 2013 season, the search isn’t quite finished.