SAN FRANCISCO -- Rubby De La Rosa, the organization's most impressive pitching prospect this spring, has yet to make his season debut and instead is on the bereavement list after the death in the Dominican Republic of the 71-year-old grandmother that reared him.
De La Rosa, 22, was assigned to Double-A Chattanooga for this season. Last year he was the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He went 4-1 with a 3.19 ERA at Class A Great Lakes, blossoming after being moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation and earning a promotion to Chattanooga, where he was even better -- 3-1, 1.41.
De La Rosa's parents never married or parented, as he lived from birth in Santo Domingo with his grandmother and worked in a food warehouse as the family's sole provider between the ages of 12 and 15, when he started to play baseball. He signed with the Dodgers at age 18 for a modest $15,000 bonus.