D-backs Prospect Profile: RHP Carlos Rosa

D-backs Prospect Profile: RHP Carlos Rosa

With their big league bullpen in turmoil, the Arizona Diamondbacks traded shortstop prospect Reynaldo Navarro to the Kansas City Royals for right-handed pitcher Carlos Rosa. Rosa converted from a starter to a reliever before the 2009 season, and could add some depth to the D-backs relief corps.


Vitals:

Name: Carlos Rosa
Acquired: Traded on 5/1/2010 for SS Rey Navarro
Position: Right Handed Pitcher
DOB: 9/21/1984
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 210 lbs
B/T: R/R

History: The Kansas City Royals signed Carlos Rosa way back in 2001.  They kept him to a light workload for his first three professional seasons, but Rosa nevertheless underwent Tommy John surgery as a 20-year old, missing the entire 2005 season.

Rosa rebounded extremely well, posting earned run averages of 2.88, 3.60, and 2.73 as a starter the following three seasons.  Yet after additional injuries in 2007 and 2008, the Royals tried to trade Rosa to Florida for Mike Jacobs.  Rosa's '08 forearm injury convinced the Marlins to accept Leo Nunez instead. 

The Royals converted Rosa into a reliever before the 2009 season, and he responded by averaging more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings - easily the best ratio of his career - but also more than four walks per nine innings, which ranks among the highest walk ratios of his eight-year pro career.  He also went 2-8 with a 4.56 ERA, his worst marks since going under the knife.

That performance dropped Rosa from being ranked as the seventh-best prospect in the Royals organization to 15th, according to our sister site, RoyalsCorner.com.  After more control issues to begin the 2010 season, the Royals successfully traded him to the Arizona Diamondbacks, this time for shortstop prospect Rey Navarro.

"We're excited to get him because he's another guy that has some upside to potentially land in our bullpen," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. "We'll see what he looks like in Triple-A before we give him an opportunity up here if he earns it."

Makeup: Rosa throws from a high arm slot, which may or may not have contributed to his injuries - a ligament tear in his right elbow, an oblique strain, and a right forearm strain.  The high slot does allow right-handed batters to get a decent look at him, so they fare about as well as their left-handed counterparts do against Rosa.


Rosa's high arm slot

The ex-Royal prospect comported himself well in his brief major league stints the past two seasons, combining to post a 3.21 ERA in 14 innings.  He does not appear to get rattled on the mound very easily.

Pitches:  Fastball, Slider, Changeup

Rosa's fastball averages 94 miles per hour.  The switch to the bullpen failed to add any velocity to it, which leads you to believe that he was throwing max effort on every pitch as  a starter.  It's little wonder that he suffered all of the injuries he did if that is indeed the case.  The fastball has decent movement to it and is a true plus pitch.

He compliments that heater with a slider that he throws in the upper-80s, averaging 86.5 mph.  When he can command the slider, it is a strikeout pitch in its own right.  He also uses a changeup thrown at the same velocity as the slider.  But while the slider sweeps away from right-handed batters, the changeup tails away from lefties.  His changeup is less consistent than his slider and features a more gradual break, but when it's working, it gives him a significant weapon to use against left-handed batters.

Major League Clone: Robinson Tejeda


Prediction: Rosa's stuff is just too good for him not to succeed out of the bullpen.  He probably doesn't have the command and consistency to be a closer, but his ability to handle both left- and right-handed batters suggests that he could develop into a successful setup man if he can just cut down on the walks a little.

Timetable: The Diamondbacks' bullpen is currently a mess, so it's likely that Rosa will get an opportunity to contribute this season.  He has already shown an ability to hold his own at the big league level and is on the 40-man roster.  Unless his control problems escalate, Rosa will pitch in the big leagues at some point this year.


Royals Corner Publisher Dave Sanford contributed to this scouting report.  Discuss this article in the FutureBacks.com Subscriber-Only Message Boards.

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