De La Rosa’s comfort shows in strong outing

It’s a completely different Spring Training for Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa.

Last year, manager Clint Hurdle named him a rotation member before the team reported to Tucson, Ariz., but De La Rosa pitched as if he wasn’t going to be there long. But after a bad spring and an 0-6 start, De La Rosa found his delivery and became a 16-game winner (16-9, 4.38 ERA).

He’s throwing like a big winner now.

De La Rosa breezed through three scoreless innings, with two strikeouts, a walk and a hit in a 5-4 victory over the Padres at Peoria, Ariz. His fastball, curve and change were sharp.

De La Rosa bounced among several teams before landing with the Rockies before the 2008 season and eventually becoming a solid rotation member. But De La Rosa hasn’t forgotten what it took to reach that.

“I feel like you have to be focused every time,” De La Rosa said. “To start feeling like a star, that’s not a good thing. I want to work like I have to make the team.”

De La Rosa said pitching coach Bob Apodaca painstakingly worked with him on his delivery balance until things came together last June. Now De La Rosa can self-correct.

“Now I know when things are wrong,” De La Rosa said. “I don’t get mad. I just focus on the things I’m doing. That’s why I make better adjustments.”

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