The bigger of the two setbacks was suffered by Rubby De La Rosa, who will undergo his second Tommy John procedure. De La Rosa has been struggling with arm problems since May of 2016. After two rapidly-truncated starts in September, he underwent stem-cell therapy in the hope of avoiding TJ, and also moved from the rotation to the bullpen. He started the year on the disabled list, but pitched in two stints with the major-league team, posting a 4.70 ERA over 7.2 innings. He was optioned down to Reno earlier this month, and had made three appearances from them, the last on August 12th.
De La Rosa had previously undergone the Tommy John procedure in 2011, so joins Daniel Hudson as players to under go a second TJ while with Arizona. Obviously, the situation here is different, with much more time between the operations, and Hudson was able to return successfully and pitch in the majors again. But the recovery rate from second TJ’s is known to be lower in general. Even in a best-case scenario, this almost certainly means De La Rosa won’t see any meaningful action in 2018, and we’re thus looking at 2019 before he’ll be back.
Yasmany Tomas last appeared for the Diamondbacks on June 2, and has been out since then with a groin issue. This one appears to be particularly troublesome, and it has been a case of one step forward, two limps backwards. Tomas had three rehab appearances in the Arizona Rookie League at the end of June, but then was forced to stop baseball activities. On July 21, Torey Lovullo said, “He's been in the batting cage, he's been hitting, he's been throwing and everything is trending in a very positive direction with Yasmany.” He then began base-running at the beginning of August, and appeared in a simulated game at Salt River on Saturday.
But another setback means Tomas will instead be traveling to Philadelphia after the weekend, to see a groin specialist [TIL: there are groin specialists]. Lovullo explained: “If you’ve watched him run, the gait is good but there’s a little discomfort that he’s showing and there might be a little limp every now and then, especially when he’s slowing down. He just wants to get to the bottom of it. We want to get to the bottom of it and find out what’s wrong. The specialist will be able to determine exactly what’s happening in that area.” However, this does appear to reduce any chance of Tomas being part of the D-backs roster this year.