Dane De La Rosa is a late bloomer.

He's 6-foot-7 but didn't stop growing until he was 21. He didn't pitch his first major-league game until age 28, and that was after bouncing around some independent leagues for three years.

Having been called up to the Angels from Triple-A on Tuesday, De La Rosa has the chance to help a team whose pitching staff was dealt a major blow. Ace Jered Weaver was placed on the disabled list with a broken bone in his left forearm and could miss four weeks or more, forcing Garrett Richards into a starting role and leaving a big hole in the bullpen.

"I figured at point in the year I'd come up," De La Rosa said, "but not Opening Day."

The Tampa Bay Rays traded De La Rosa to the Angels on March 27 in exchange for pitcher Steven Geltz.

The 30-year-old right-hander allowed seven runs in 6 2/3 Grapefruit League innings this year after compiling a 10.95 ERA in 12 major-league games over the past two seasons.

Those numbers are ugly, but Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto sees some room to grow in De La Rosa.

"He's a makeup guy who came here the hard way," Dipoto said.

The makeup includes a 97-mph fastball from the kind of downward angle only a 6-7 right-hander can create. Control was a huge issue last season; De La Rosa walked 42 batters in 67 2/3 innings for the Rays' Triple-A affiliate, but he also struck out 87.