Over the first two months of the season, Rubby De La Rosa was close to the best starting pitcher the Diamondbacks had. He had an ERA+ of 104, and was striking out better than a batter per inning. He had his struggles early on, but was dramatically improved after a short stint in the bullpen, posting an ERA of 1.93 over the five starts which followed. However, his last start on May 25 was an abbreviated one, lasting only 4.1 innings, and when Shelby Miller went on the DL on May 27, De La Rosa joined him, with what was officially described as "right elbow inflammation".
An MRI followed, along with a visit to Dr. James Andrews - neither of which are ever a good thing - who cast an eye over the results. The results fall into the category of "do you want the good news or the bad news?", for according to Jack Magruder:
#Dbacks De La Rosa will not need another TJ surgery, Dr. Andrews said after look at recent MRI. Ligament stretched. DLR sees Aug/Sept return— Jack Magruder (@JackMagruder) June 7, 2016
Could have been worse, if De La Rosa had to go under the knife and endure a second Tommy John procedure (he had his first in August 2011). Instead, we're looking at 2-3 months before he can come back, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, if Archie Bradley continues to pitch the way he did in his first two starts since being called up to replace Rubby. I suspect the team will be cautious with De La Rosa's rehab, especially if (as seems increasingly likely) there's no playoff push for the Diamondbacks this season. Makes more sense to take all the time necessary and be certain he's 100% for a 2017 rotation spot, rather than pushing at all for a return this season.