Jump to content


Yo! You're not logged in. Why am I seeing this ad?

Photo

Rubby ... the 'other' Martinez brother?


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
36 replies to this topic

#1 E5 Yaz


  • Transcends message boarding


  • 25,773 posts

Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:10 PM

Want some hope for the new season? Instead of reading yet again about contract discussions, here's a chance to talk about a potential "legacy" that could pay off for years:

De La Rosa, who grew up in Santo Domingo, has known the Martinez brothers, Ramon Martinez and Pedro, since he was a child. His grandmother, he said Friday at the Red Sox rookie development camp at Harvard University, served as nanny to Ramon and Pedro when they were little, and he has kept in touch since.


And now, De La Rosa says matter-of-factly, he has mastered the Martinez changeup. If true, given he also has thrown a fastball clocked at 100 mph even after Tommy John surgery, De La Rosa might stir some of the similar excitement his idol did.


"He taught me the grip," said De La Rosa, who is listed at 5-foot-11 but is stockier than Martinez was at the same age, though he weighed just 130 pounds when the Dodgers signed him for $15,000. "I've learned how to throw it to both sides of the plate, to left-handed hitters and right-handed hitters. I really command the pitch. I can throw it inside to lefties.
"Ninety percent of my strikeouts come on my changeup. I throw the changeup at three different speeds -- 94 miles an hour, 88 and 78."


If De La Rosa fulfills expectations, this would make the Punto Trade even sweeter. If he shows he's healthy in ST, do you bring him up immediately? Start or relieve?

http://espn.go.com/b...-pedro-martinez

#2 fineyoungarm


  • tweets about his subwoofer!


  • 3,829 posts

Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:35 PM

De La Rosa has a good chance of being the most intriguing story of spring training. The historical info out there on him was reason enough for close attention. The Martinez connection is a pure bonus. However, what grabs me the most is the swagger and confidence of his remarks.

#3 Rasputin


  • Will outlive SeanBerry


  • 26,122 posts

Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:44 PM

De La Rosa has a good chance of being the most intriguing story of spring training. The historical info out there on him was reason enough for close attention. The Martinez connection is a pure bonus. However, what grabs me the most is the swagger and confidence of his remarks.


The word you're looking for is duende.

Pedro's grip doesn't equal Pedro's change, but I really, really want to see this guy.

#4 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,358 posts

Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:00 PM

I saw an interview clip with him the other day on NESN, which was covering the Sox' rookie development program. The kid comes off extremely poised, composed, confident and impressive. Even before I'd read anything about the Martinez connections or seen him throw a single pitch, a young Pedro is who he reminded me of.

I think you have to keep him ramped up as a starter. According to Alex Speier, Rubby's old AA pitching coach gives his changeup the maximum grade of 80. Converting him to a reliever now without seeing if he can approach the ceiling reflective of his attitude and talents, especially when the team isn't exactly desperate for bullpen help, would be a waste.

#5 JimBoSox9


  • will you be my friend?


  • 12,657 posts

Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:03 PM

I'll never ever forget Pedro's freakish fingers. They were the secret ingredient and only God or Darwin can make them happen to the right guy again.

The real silly season begins. At least things happen in the hot stove that actually change teams. Now if's, well....this. I love what I've seen, heard, and read about Rubby, and his numbers suggest solid potential upside. Dominican lore aside, that's still all he is; Pedro comparisons or thinking about leaps to elite status are probably unfair to him at this point

#6 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,358 posts

Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:45 PM

Dominican lore aside, that's still all he is; Pedro comparisons or thinking about leaps to elite status are probably unfair to him at this point


Fair comments all, and a preemptive dose of perspective.

#7 E5 Yaz


  • Transcends message boarding


  • 25,773 posts

Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:45 PM

I think you have to keep him ramped up as a starter. ... Rubby's old AA pitching coach gives his changeup the maximum grade of 80. Converting him to a reliever now without seeing if he can approach the ceiling reflective of his attitude and talents, especially when the team isn't exactly desperate for bullpen help, would be a waste.


This where I am. While we all expect the Sox to be better this season, that doesn't mean they should shy away from working a possible prime talent into the rotation ... or the lineup, for that matter. If this means starting De La Rosa in AAA until the schedule flattens out, fine. But let's see what the kid has as a starter.

#8 SoxScout


  • Maalox Territory


  • 30,161 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:00 AM

He will probably be piggy-backed in the AAA rotation for April, stretched out in May, and at that point see what he has and what's happening with the Red Sox.

The other day Keith Law said he sees him as a starter and I highly doubt anyone in the Red Sox organization is focusing on him as a RP anytime in the near future.

#9 Jordu

  • 2,029 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:23 AM

He will probably be piggy-backed in the AAA rotation for April, stretched out in May, and at that point see what he has and what's happening with the Red Sox.

The other day Keith Law said he sees him as a starter and I highly doubt anyone in the Red Sox organization is focusing on him as a RP anytime in the near future.


Sounds wise. I'd have no problem with the Red Sox waiting until de la Rosa has logged 15 or more starts in Pawtucket before they assess him with an eye toward Fenway. What's the rush?

#10 fineyoungarm


  • tweets about his subwoofer!


  • 3,829 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:18 AM

Sounds wise. I'd have no problem with the Red Sox waiting until de la Rosa has logged 15 or more starts in Pawtucket before they assess him with an eye toward Fenway. What's the rush?


Mainly an attempt to erase the misery inflicted as of late by so much of the starting rotation. So you're right. (Although, if he has a flashy spring I reserve the right to belly ache should he not slide into the rotation right away.) JimBo is correct as well - there is the interesting Pedro story, reflective Pedro comparisons for conversation and "he just might be the next Pedro". That last one - get a grip (so to speak).

#11 Jimy Hendrix

  • 2,636 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:02 AM

My brain agrees that there'll only ever be one Pedro and that his physical makeup was part of the success of his change-up. My brain also remembers Denny Bautista, and knows that a loose association with Pedro is no guarantee of success.

But in my heart of hearts, I want nothing more than to see someone throwing that beautiful change-up again. I hadn't realized how much I still miss Pedro's change-up until I read the blurb in this thread.

Edited by Jimy Hendrix, 12 January 2013 - 09:02 AM.


#12 Jordu

  • 2,029 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 01:19 PM

My brain agrees that there'll only ever be one Pedro and that his physical makeup was part of the success of his change-up. My brain also remembers Denny Bautista, and knows that a loose association with Pedro is no guarantee of success.

But in my heart of hearts, I want nothing more than to see someone throwing that beautiful change-up again. I hadn't realized how much I still miss Pedro's change-up until I read the blurb in this thread.


Years ago I had an Englishman working for me who was keen to learn as much about baseball as he could. (He taught me some of the finer points of footie.) We were in the grandstand behind home plate at Pedro's 16K game against the Braves in '99.

I remember an at-bat early in the game. Can't remember the hitter. Pedro starts him out with a curveball for called strike one. With an 0-1 count, he throws that change-up. Swinging strike two.

"He's out," I say to my English friend.

"No," he says, confused. "There's only two strikes."

"Trust me. He's out." Called strike three on a heater.


#13 catomatic


  • thinks gen turgidson is super mean!!!


  • 801 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:28 PM

My brain agrees that there'll only ever be one Pedro and that his physical makeup was part of the success of his change-up. My brain also remembers Denny Bautista, and knows that a loose association with Pedro is no guarantee of success.

But in my heart of hearts, I want nothing more than to see someone throwing that beautiful change-up again. I hadn't realized how much I still miss Pedro's change-up until I read the blurb in this thread.

Was it Octavio Dotel whom some used to refer to as "Pedrocito"? Who am I thinking of? It was in the early part of their career. The more I look at this offseason, the more I am enamored of Ben Cherington's vision going forward.

#14 JohntheBaptist


  • SoSH Member


  • 7,989 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:31 PM

Was it Octavio Dotel whom some used to refer to as "Pedrocito"? Who am I thinking of? It was in the early part of their career. The more I look at this offseason, the more I am enamored of Ben Cherington's vision going forward.


Not totallly sure, but I think it was Ramon Ortiz, with the Angels. He may not be who you're thinking of, but he got "Baby Pedro" a lot real early in his career.

#15 JimBoSox9


  • will you be my friend?


  • 12,657 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:33 PM

Was it Octavio Dotel whom some used to refer to as "Pedrocito"? Who am I thinking of? It was in the early part of their career.


I do believe you are thinking of a young Earvin Santana.

Hmm JtB may well be right. The vague memory has a distinctly Angels flavor to it.

Edited by JimBoSox9, 12 January 2013 - 02:35 PM.


#16 catomatic


  • thinks gen turgidson is super mean!!!


  • 801 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:42 PM

I do believe you are thinking of a young Earvin Santana.

Hmm JtB may well be right. The vague memory has a distinctly Angels flavor to it.

Yeah, I think JtB has it - I believe it was Ramon Ortiz. Welp, that didn't pan out, did it?

#17 JohntheBaptist


  • SoSH Member


  • 7,989 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:02 PM

Yeah, Jimbo, I think what happened is that it started w/ Ramon and followed him for an odd amount of time and then when he, uh... didn't exactly live up, it got attached for an even shorter time to Ervin?

#18 fineyoungarm


  • tweets about his subwoofer!


  • 3,829 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:38 PM

For reasons that remain mysterious to me Pedro and the prospect of a prodigy - no matter how tenuous - do not stir the passions of members to the same degree as Mike Napoli's hip.

#19 Edelpeddle

  • 273 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:53 PM

For reasons that remain mysterious to me Pedro and the prospect of a prodigy - no matter how tenuous - do not stir the passions of members to the same degree as Mike Napoli's hip.


I'm willing to bet there's quite a few people who think the comparisons to Pedro are too much of a stretch to even warrant comment.

#20 Snodgrass'Muff


  • smarter as Lucen


  • 20,878 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:57 PM

Maybe it's because no matter how exciting DLR is, comparisons to the guy who was arguably the most dominant pitcher in this history of the sport while he was in his prime seem silly. I think DLR has a chance to be a truly excellent pitcher, but dropping his name next to Pedro's feels a bit much, IMO.

Edit: Or what Edelpeddle said.

Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 12 January 2013 - 03:57 PM.


#21 E5 Yaz


  • Transcends message boarding


  • 25,773 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

The "comparisons to Pedro" aren't comparisons at all. De La Rosa has a connection to the martinez family through his grandmother, and learned the changeup grip from Pedro. These are anecdotal facts, to be sure, but they rekindle some thoughts of happier times for fans. No one is suggesting that Rubby will becomes the second coming of Pedro, just that it's a nice story.

#22 Edelpeddle

  • 273 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:07 PM

Perhaps I have an unnatural disdain for fluff pieces.

#23 mt8thsw9th


  • anti-SoSHal


  • 14,102 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:08 PM

I'm willing to bet there's quite a few people who think the comparisons to Pedro are too much of a stretch to even warrant comment.


I haven't really seen "warranting comment" being a barrier to people from making boatloads of comments on a topic.

While it's more or less an offseason puff piece that brings to mind Denny Bautista, I don't see the harm in discussing De La Rosa (who unlike Napoli, is a member of the Red Sox), whether or not you agree with the Pedro comparisons. Though which one do you disagree with the most? The comparison of height?

Edited by mt8thsw9th, 12 January 2013 - 04:09 PM.


#24 Papelbon's Poutine


  • SoSH Member


  • 5,752 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:13 PM

Nm

Edited by Papelbon's Poutine, 12 January 2013 - 04:14 PM.


#25 Edelpeddle

  • 273 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:28 PM

I haven't really seen "warranting comment" being a barrier to people from making boatloads of comments on a topic.

While it's more or less an offseason puff piece that brings to mind Denny Bautista, I don't see the harm in discussing De La Rosa (who unlike Napoli, is a member of the Red Sox), whether or not you agree with the Pedro comparisons. Though which one do you disagree with the most? The comparison of height?


It's not the comparisons of height, country of origin or the fact that they both have a good changeup I have an issue with. I just don't see how these similarities or anecdotes about nannies should offer hope about his potential or abilities.

Edit: I don't mean to be rude, I had no intentions of pooping on the party until a poster found it "mysterious" that this thread wasn't warranting more attention and then another poster asked me what was wrong with the comparisons.

Edited by Edelpeddle, 12 January 2013 - 04:34 PM.


#26 Savin Hillbilly


  • SoSH Member


  • 11,584 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:38 PM

Comparison is not identification. To say that RDLR has learned his changeup from Pedro, and that it's a good one, and that his overall skill package and demeanor have reminded a few observers of Pedro, is not to assert that it's at all likely he'll be as good as Pedro. In fact that's an extremely unlikely thing to say about any pitcher, so saying that it's unlikely to be true of RDLR is essentially saying nothing.

Sometimes people around here here bend over so far backward to avoid drinking the Kool-Aid that they resemble contortionists.

#27 curly2

  • 2,707 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:02 PM

It was Ramon Ortiz who was "Little Pedro." I remember watching on TV as he he beat Big Pedro in a classic duel.

http://bit.ly/TSc3gG

The one good thing about it. It was a loss, but for a West Coast game, the 2:02 game time at least allowed me to get some sleep.

As for Rubby, I can give you a spoiler alert: He WON'T be as good as Pedro. But he's got a chance to be really good, and I'm looking forward to seeing him.

By the way, as to the thread title, remember when the Sox did have all three Martinez brothers, with Pedro and Ramon in Boston and Jesus at Pawtucket?

Edited by curly2, 12 January 2013 - 07:04 PM.


#28 Paradigm


  • juju all over his tits


  • 5,915 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:10 PM

You want to know what this guy is capable of? Look at some of his highlights. In this clip, you'll see him wipe-out a bunch of Padres with an absolutely vicious array of pitches. He throws 97-99 and everything has this little tail to it, these few inches of movement just at the end that make the shit look impossible.

Read any prospect writer / talent evaluator and they all say the same thing. This guy could be special. His stuff is out of this world. Perhaps some of the best in baseball.

He's 5'11" 215lbs, so he's short but he's got some weight there. It's not the ideal pitcher's body, but he's not wiry. And when you watch those highlights, honestly, he looks an inch taller. Could be 6' even.

There are two worrisome things:

1. Health. Everyone's had TJ by this point, so that's really a concern. (It's more rare to NOT recover fully at this point). But his mechanics are a little jerky and his arm action is not very smooth. Pedro had a much loopier, smoother, continuous arm action. Rubby kind of tweaks at the top of his arm slot and fires. So you have to hope that this won't be an issue. But there's really nothing you can do with a guy who has this kind of stuff. You just hope and pray that he stays healthy.

2. Command. He's walked a lot of batters historically. If he can tighten up his command, he takes a big step forward.

Anyways, watch some of this guy's highlights. When Theo said that the players Ben got back in this trade will be more valuable than the salary relief, he was probably talking about Rubby. This guy is kind of like a scratch ticket where you already have three of the five boxes checked.

#29 cannonball 1729

  • 1,966 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:26 PM

It was Ramon Ortiz who was "Little Pedro." I remember watching on TV as he he beat Big Pedro in a classic duel.

http://bit.ly/TSc3gG

The one good thing about it. It was a loss, but for a West Coast game, the 2:02 game time at least allowed me to get some sleep.


Yeah, that was "Little Pedro." The hype around him lasted until the 2001-02 offseason when it turned out that Ortiz was three years older than previously thought and was, in fact, only a year and a half younger than Pedro himself.

#30 Sprowl


  • mikey lowell of the sandbox


  • 21,050 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:38 PM

Everyone's had TJ by this point, so that's really a concern. (It's more rare to NOT recover fully at this point).


Rich Hill and Daisuke Matsuzaka shake their heads ruefully.

#31 JimBoSox9


  • will you be my friend?


  • 12,657 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:31 PM

You want to know what this guy is capable of? Look at some of his highlights. In this clip, you'll see him wipe-out a bunch of Padres with an absolutely vicious array of pitches. He throws 97-99 and everything has this little tail to it, these few inches of movement just at the end that make the shit look impossible.

Read any prospect writer / talent evaluator and they all say the same thing. This guy could be special. His stuff is out of this world. Perhaps some of the best in baseball.

He's 5'11" 215lbs, so he's short but he's got some weight there. It's not the ideal pitcher's body, but he's not wiry. And when you watch those highlights, honestly, he looks an inch taller. Could be 6' even.

There are two worrisome things:

1. Health. Everyone's had TJ by this point, so that's really a concern. (It's more rare to NOT recover fully at this point). But his mechanics are a little jerky and his arm action is not very smooth. Pedro had a much loopier, smoother, continuous arm action. Rubby kind of tweaks at the top of his arm slot and fires. So you have to hope that this won't be an issue. But there's really nothing you can do with a guy who has this kind of stuff. You just hope and pray that he stays healthy.

2. Command. He's walked a lot of batters historically. If he can tighten up his command, he takes a big step forward.

Anyways, watch some of this guy's highlights. When Theo said that the players Ben got back in this trade will be more valuable than the salary relief, he was probably talking about Rubby. This guy is kind of like a scratch ticket where you already have three of the five boxes checked.


Bolding mine. You're absolutely right that he needs to take a step forward in command to move from being an exciting prospect to an elite one. There's really no reason to think it's going to happen, though. History is chock-fucking-full of guys with great arms who never put together enough command to make an impact at the MLB level.

The good news, of course, is that he's young enough that there's no particular reason to think he has less of a chance of putting it all together than any other prospect. Cautious optimism is warranted.

#32 Edelpeddle

  • 273 posts

Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:28 PM

I don't mean to spike the Kool-Aid here, but Pedro also had control issues at first. He walked 3.95 batters per nine innings in the minors and in his first two years at the major league level he walked 4.54 batters per nine innings. That's similar to De La Rossa who's walked 3.62 hitters per nine innings in the minors and has walked 4.84 batters per nine innings in the majors. Pitchers in the lower levels with really good stuff tend to walk a lot of batters because they're used to getting a lot of swings on pitches out of the zone and they can get away with the walks when they're striking out a batter an inning.

Pedro did, however, play his first years in the majors two years younger than De La Rossa and there were a variety of things which made Pedro more than the sum of his parts. Pedro had two out pitches, he really mixed his pitches in well and he had an unconventional delivery which made it harder to pick up on his pitches. De La Rossa has a lot of work to do on his slider and a lot of ground to make up developmentally.

#33 maufman


  • SoSH Member


  • 12,373 posts

Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:57 PM

Yeah, Jimbo, I think what happened is that it started w/ Ramon and followed him for an odd amount of time and then when he, uh... didn't exactly live up, it got attached for an even shorter time to Ervin?


Ramon Ortiz was one of those guys who abruptly aged 3 years when it became more difficult to fudge such things. His 2000-01 performance looked much more promising when we thought he was 24-25 years old; once we realized he was 27-28, he was obviously just a journeyman.

#34 SoxLegacy

  • 548 posts

Posted 13 January 2013 - 05:00 PM

Paradigm, thanks for sharing that link--some of those pitches were downright filthy. I noticed the tailing away as well--quite impressive. Good to see on a cold and dreary winters day.

#35 fineyoungarm


  • tweets about his subwoofer!


  • 3,829 posts

Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:53 PM

Paradigm, thanks for sharing that link--some of those pitches were downright filthy. I noticed the tailing away as well--quite impressive. Good to see on a cold and dreary winters day.


Seconded.

#36 mwonow

  • 1,551 posts

Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:58 PM

Seconded.


+1

#37 Sprowl


  • mikey lowell of the sandbox


  • 21,050 posts

Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:46 AM

Fourthed, or whatevered.

De la Rosa has thrown just over 1100 pitches in the major leagues, including the periods before and after his TJ surgery. From the BrooksBaseball pitcher card, we can generalize a few propositions concerning his platoon tendencies.

Against LHB, the opposite-handed hitter who should give him problems (given that his slider is only a work in progress), he gets called strikes at 12-13% and whiffs at 12-18% on all his three pitches. He gives up a lot of flyballs to LHB on his slider, so in some ballparks he will probably want to avoid throwing the slider to LHB altogether.

Against RHB, he gets uneven results: a whiff rate on the changeup of 19% (small sample = 41 pitches) and a called strike% on the fastball of 18.5%. He tries, and often succeeds, to paint the corners with the fastball. He could be murder at Fenway.

The changeup gets lots of whiffs, but it also yields lots of line drives. It's hard to guess on the basis of a few clips, but his fastball-vs-changeup deception might be a feast-or-famine scenario: if the batter guesses right, the ball gets hit very hard.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users