Lilly and De La Rosa Sharp in First Rehab Assignment

While the Dodgers were completing a three-game sweep of the hated Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco with reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw tossing a complete game 4-0 5-hit shut-out on Sunday afternoon, there was another shut-out being thrown 418 miles to the south; one which, like Kershaw’s, could lead the Dodgers into the 2012 World Series.

Thirty-six-year-old Dodger left-hander Ted Lilly and 23-year-old Dodger right-hander Rubby De La Rosa each made their first of what is expected to be a month of rehab appearances with the Dodgers High-A affiliate Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, with Lilly and De La Rose tossing two and three shut-out innings respectively in what ended up being an 8-1 rout of the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres).

Although Ted Lilly barely reached 85 MPH on the stadium radar gun with his fastball, his 68 MPH curveball was quite impressive.

Using opposite ends of the radar gun, Lilly (recovering from left shoulder inflammation) threw fast balls that barely reached 85 MPH and curveballs that floated in at 68 MPH, while De La Rosa (recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow) threw pure heat with fastballs that frequently hit 96 MPH (97 on his last pitch of the afternoon) and filthy sliders that broke sharply at 86 MPH; yet both enjoyed the same results – 5 innings of shut-out baseball. Lilly gave up one hit while striking out one and walking one, while De La Rosa allowed 2 hits, struck out 3, and issued one walk.

Rubby De La Rosa frequently hitting 96 MPH on the stadium radar gun with his final pitch of the afternoon topping out at 97 MPH, good for his 3rd strikeout.

“My arm feels great,” De La Rosa said prior to the game. “I can’t wait to get back with my team.”

Although the Dodgers are still actively pursuing another starting pitcher prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline, it is (very) reassuring to know that they already have two starters in the bank who will most likely be available within the next three to four weeks.

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7 Responses to “Lilly and De La Rosa Sharp in First Rehab Assignment”

  1. Bluenose Dodger says:

    Great report. Good news. I think both of the hits off Rubby were of the infield hit variety, one to second base and one to third base. The announcer for the Quakes speculated Rubby would be with the Quakes for the better part of a month. However, he acknowledged that it was pure speculation.

    Quite a contrast for similar results, a wily left hander and a fire balling right hander.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      I was quite flattered that Rubby recognized me. As he was walking towards the bullpen to warm up, he spotted me and walked over to me and shook my hand (which is when I asked him about his arm). I was very impressed that he stayed around for the entire game (in his street clothes in the stands). He is a great kid and extremely supportive of his fellow Dominicans.

      One of the infield hits that he gave up could have easily been scored an error. It was a chopper to second baseman Scott Wingo that Scott couldn’t get a good grip on in his glove (I would have ruled it a hit, too).

      Dare I say it, but the Dodgers may very well have another Cy Young Award winner in the making.

  2. ebbetsfld says:

    So encouraging. Things bode well for us!

  3. Bluenose Dodger says:

    “My arm feels great,” De La Rosa said prior to the game. “I can’t wait to get back with my team.”

    I didn’t realize Rubby’s comment was a personal one to you, Ron. Thought it might have been to the press. I can’t wait for him to get back to his team either.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      Yes, it was a personal comment to me when I asked him how his arm felt. I did not notice many media people there, aside from the normal Quakes media and photographers. One of the Epicenter employees said that they had not been told that Lilly and De La Rosa were going to be there. I mentioned to him that it was on the Dodgers website and was surprised that there was no mention of it on the Quakes website. It was clear that word had not gotten out because the crowd was rather sparse.

      When Rubby sat down next to me in the stands (and started playing with Angelo Songco’s 9 month old son), I complemented him on his great job. I then asked him if he was aware that he had hit 97. He smiled and said yes. A few minutes later, he got up and walked over to a scout and began talking with him and looking at his notes, which I assume were hit pitching details.

      I bumped into Rubby at the Epicenter last year during a Quakes game on a Dodgers off day. He said to me “What are you doing here?” to which I replied “No, what are you doing here?” He said that he came down to watch his former teammates and fellow Dominicans; I told him that I came down to see him – we both laughed. He truly is a very personable and approachable young man.

      I neglected to mention in the blog post that Jay Johnstone was there to sign autographs and to throw out the first pitch. Here is Jay doing so and also chatting with Busty in the dugout prior to the game:



  4. Bluenose Dodger says:

    Jay was mentioned on the Quake website. Quite the character. The game can use more Jay Johnstone’s and Mickey Hatcher’s.

  5. MFGRREP says:

    That’s our Ron for you, Shoulder to Shoulder with the best of them !! He’s the Clark Kent of the TBLA !!

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