Jorge De La Rosa was in no mood to talk when he first entered the clubhouse Tuesday, firing his warmup jacket into his locker. This was not the spring debut he wanted.
Admittedly anxious, De La Rosa struggled with his fastball command against the Cubs at HoHoKam Park, missing high and away on several pitches. The left-hander, who's attempting to regain his 2010 form before he underwent elbow surgery, faced nine batters, allowed a monstrous home run to left, a long double to center field and a walk.
"I was overthrowing," De La Rosa said. "My mechanics were off."
Pitching coach Jim Wright believes that De La Rosa has been arguably the best pitcher in camp so far. That's why manager Walt Weiss wasn't overreacting to the poor performance. And it's still February.
"Just like with (Juan) Nicasio, it's early. These guys are still trying to find their rhythm," Weiss said. "You give them the benefit of the doubt."
De La Rosa will focus on his fastball command in his next start on Saturday. His velocity wasn't an issue. But when he needed to make a pitch, he was unable to remain in sync.
"I need more quality strikes. I was trying to do too much," De La Rosa said.


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