De La Rosa, 29, is a great story, having come back from being released by two different organizations to catch on with the Rays, and in 2012, he had himself a very good season as the closer for Triple-A Durham, going 0-4 with a 2.79 ERA, an 11.6 K/9, a 5.6 BB/9, a 0.3 HR/9, and 20 saves in 54 relief appearances spanning 67.2 IP. It’s evident what De La Rosa’s problem is from his walk rate: control. However, his stuff is electric. He throws a fastball in the mid-90’s that touches 98, a sharp slider in the low-80’s, and he also mixes in a curveball and a changeup. De La Rosa’s control and command leave something to be desired, and at his age, he may never figure it out, but you take a risk on a power arm in a middle relief role and maybe working with Jim Hickey and the major league staff, something clicks. With just halfway-decent control, De La Rosa has the ability to be a solid middle reliever, and even at 29 years old, he could have a solid major league career ahead of him as a middle reliever if that happens.
Vogt, 27, who we just discussed yesterday, went just 0 for 17 in the big league but had himself a good year at Triple-A, posting a .272/.350/.424 line with 18 doubles, 4 triples, 9 homers, 43 RBI, and an outstanding 61-42 strikeout to walk ratio in 96 games and 348 plate appearances. Vogt excels at making contact and has solid power, and he really improved his plate discipline this year at Triple-A. Vogt stands out for his ability to play catcher, first base, and both corner outfield positions, and he’ll be an interesting player for Joe Maddon to play around with in September. Hopefully he will finally get that first major league hit.
As for the mystery man? We’ve already talked about Archer, 23, who had two good major league starts in addition to a nice year at Durham, going 7-9 with a 3.66 ERA, a 9.8 K/9, a 4.4 BB/9, and a 0.4 HR/9 in 25 starts and 128 IP. He was especially good at Durham after returning from the big leagues. Archer is also extremely fast and was used twice as a pinch-runner by Joe Maddon while he was in the big leagues. But we’ll see him in September as a pitcher, and he has a chance to play a David Price/Matt Moore power-armed prospect becomes September/postseason savior role. It makes plenty of sense for him to be called up since Durham’s season is over and he deserves to be in the big leagues. Who else could it be? Let’s go through the 40-man roster and see who the possibilities are.
Matt Bush- In jail. I don’t think so.
Alex Colome- Great season as he moved up from Double-A to Triple-A, but he’s out with a shoulder injury. Cross him off the list, at least for now.
Josh Lueke- Nice stuff, but he destroyed to a 5.56 ERA at Triple-A Durham this year. Maybe we’ll see him later, but he was especially horrific to end the season, and he’s gotta be working with one of the Rays’ minor league pitching coordinators right now.
Wilking Rodriguez- At High-A and hurt. He’s talented, but now chance.
Alex Torres- Here’s an interesting one as the lefty Torres was in the big leagues in September last year and has a great arm. He also posted a 6.72 ERA with 7.9 walks per 9 innings at Triple-A this year. He may be up later, but he’ll join Lueke working with the pitching coordinators at least for the time being.
Robinson Chirinos- Out with a concussion. Hopefully we’ll see him next year.
Sean Rodriguez- Out after punching a wall. Nope.
Brandon Guyer- I still really like him, but he’s out for the year with shoulder surgery. He’s out.
Basically, it’s Archer, with Lueke and Torres being the only other options. It would be an enormous shock if it was anyone but Archer.