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De La Rosa set to get started with Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  January 11, 2013 07:35 PM

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For Rubby De La Rosa, getting traded to the Red Sox felt a little like destiny. Former Sox pitchers Pedro and Ramon Martinez are among his mentors.

De La Rosa said Friday that his grandmother was a nanny to the Martinez brothers in the Dominican Republic.

“Pedro was who I wanted to be growing up,” said De La Rosa, who was traded from the Dodgers to the Sox in August.

Ramon Martinez, an instructor in the Los Angeles organization, has had more of a direct influence on De La Rosa. The 23-year-old is now fully recovered from elbow surgery and will work as a starter in spring training.

De La Rosa is likely to start the season in the minor leagues but could become an option for the major league team quickly.

“He looks good. He’s definitely been ready with his throwing program. You can tell he’s absolutely been working really hard with that, with the arm strength,” player development director Ben Crockett said.

“He told us he’s been throwing for quite a while and it shows. Really quick arm, ball is jumping out. He’s aggressive and confident with that throwing program. He’s mixing in some of his off-speed [pitches] at this point, getting a feel for it. It looks like he’s ready to compete. Physically he’s made progress from when we first acquired him in the trade. We’re going in the right direction.”

Said De La Rosa: “I’m fine now. My fastball is back to what it was. There’s no problem.”

De La Rosa has spoken to Pedro Martinez about pitching. The Red Sox are trying to arrange a more formal relationship between the two.

“We would love to have Pedro working with him,” GM Ben Cherington said. “Hopefully we can work something out.”

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