HOUSTON -- Having exceeded his limit for a rehab assignment, the Angels activated reliever Dane De La Rosa off the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday.
Pitchers on the DL can't be on a rehab assignment longer than 30 days -- it's 20 days for position players -- and Monday marked De La Rosa's 30th day with the Salt Lake Bees, a team he'll continue to pitch for without accruing Major League service time.
De La Rosa, 31, posted a 2.86 ERA while leading the Angels with 75 relief appearances last season, but he has dealt with injuries throughout 2014. The journeyman right-hander was affected by a forearm strain in Spring Training, experienced a sharp dip in velocity during his season debut on April 12 and has spent the rest of the time recovering from irritation in his right sternoclavicular joint.
De La Rosa began his rehab assignment on May 4, shut it down for a week and a half from May 11-20, then posted a 5.14 ERA in seven one-inning appearances upon returning. Manager Mike Scioscia has seen improvements out of De La Rosa over the last couple weeks, but the organization doesn't believe he's "quite where he was when he was a major player in our bullpen last year."
"I think it's everything about repeating pitches to his command, getting guys out," Scioscia said. "His velocity is picking up to where it's not that much of a difference. Maybe it's not that explosive 95 or 96 [mph] that he showed, but he's certainly throwing the ball hard enough that if he hits his spots he can be effective. It's about getting guys out right now, and I think he's working towards that."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and ?The Show?, and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.