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Game #106 Preview: 8/5, Arizona Diamondbacks @ Washington Nationals

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Once again, it's time for that popular game we play every five days! Wheel! Of! De La Rosa!

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
Rubby De La Rosa
RHP, 8-5, 4.59
Gio Gonzalez
LHP, 8-4, 3.75
Ender Inciarte - LF Yunel Escobar - 3B
A.J. Pollock - CF Anthony Rendon - 2B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Bryce Harper - RF
Welington Castillo - C Ryan Zimmerman - 1B
Aaron Hill - 3B Jayson Werth - LF
Yasmany Tomas - RF Danny Espinosa - SS
Chris Owings - 2B Jose Lobaton - C
Nick Ahmed - SS Michael Taylor - CF
Rubby De La Rosa - RHP Gio Gonzalez - LHP

You can get some idea of just how random De La Rosa's appearances have been, by looking at the Game Scores he has posted over his 21 starts to date. Not only do they run the range from 14 to 78, they are also almost evenly spread across the range of outcomes, rather than the more-expected bell-curve, with most results in the middle. Vague delimiters are vague, but see this:

  • Less than thirty: five
  • Thirties and forties: five
  • Fifties and sixties: six
  • Seventy or better: five

He has allowed a total of 67 earned runs, but almost half of those have come in just five of those 21 appearances, in which he worked 25.1 innings, allowing 38 hits, nine walks and ten home-runs, leading to 33 earned runs, and an ERA of 11.72. Over the other 16 outings, so more than three-quarters of the time, De La Rosa has a 2.89 ERA. Now, obviously, filtering out any pitcher's worst five starts is going to help them, but to a 4:1 ratio in ERA? If we do the same for Jeremy Hellickson, say, our other pitcher to have 20+ starts, we get 28 ER in 23.2 innings in his worst five, a 10.65 ERA, with the others a 3.40 ERA, so around a 3:1 ratio. Perhaps this is a metric of pitcher volatility.

For today, I guess we'll see what happens. It's going to be interesting to see what the team decides to do with De La Rosa as far as the 2016 staff goes. There have been flashes - even multiple, consecutive starts - where he has shown the stuff to be front of the rotation guy. However, the overall numbers have been distinctly underwhelming, and if he can't become more consistent, you have to ask if it's worth taking the really good, if it also comes with a large helping of extremely bad.