LOS ANGELES -- More than a year removed from Tommy John surgery, Rubby De La Rosa was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday afternoon. In a surprising corresponding move, the Dodgers optioned reliever Javy Guerra to Triple-A Albuquerque.
De La Rosa came back quickly after undergoing Tommy John surgery on Aug. 9, 2011, and manager Don Mattingly said the right-hander would pitch out of the bullpen for the rest of the season instead of being used as a starter. He went 4-5 with a 3.71 ERA in 13 appearances (10 starts) for the Dodgers last season, and the team still views him as a starter after this year.
De La Rosa, who got the call Tuesday morning while in Rancho Cucamonga, said he didn't expect to be back this soon. He said he has hit 99 mph on the radar gun, and he is 100 percent sure he'll be able to throw 100 mph again.
"He's a power arm," Mattingly said. "He's a guy that is swing-and-miss out of the gate, especially in an inning situation."
He threw three scoreless innings in the Arizona Rookie League and nine more with a 1-0 record while rehabbing with Class A Rancho Cucamonga. Mattingly said he plans to work him back carefully out of the bullpen and not just throw him into a tough situation late in a game.
To make room for the 23-year-old righty, the Dodgers sent down Guerra, who went 2-3 with a 2.66 ERA and eight saves.
Guerra entered the season with high expectations as the Opening Day closer. After struggling through April with a 1-3 record and a 6.10 ERA, Guerra was replaced by Kenley Jansen in the closer's role.
Since giving up seven runs in April, Guerra has surrendered only six runs in 33 2/3 innings. He hasn't given up a run in 8 2/3 innings through seven appearances in August, and the last run he allowed was on July 26.
However, Mattingly said the team wanted Guerra to spend the next week or so working on his command before coming back to the Dodgers when the rosters expand in September. In his last outing on Saturday, Guerra walked two batters in one-third of an inning.
"We'll give him 10 days here to try to put some finishing touches and get back in a groove as far as being able to throw strikes without the pressure of this pennant race right now," Mattingly said.