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05/03/08 1:43 AM ET

De La Rosa seeks fresh start with Rox

Colorado (11-18) vs. Los Angeles (16-13), Saturday, 6:05 p.m. MT

DENVER -- Left-handed pitcher Jorge De La Rosa admitted he was stunned when the Royals gave up on him and designated him for assignment before during Spring Training.

"I was surprised, but they know what they're doing," De La Rosa said. "I had to go where they told me to go. But I went down to [Triple-A] Omaha, threw more strikes and was more focused. Getting designated for assignment did make me concentrate more so I could get back to the Major Leagues."

How focused was he? He said he didn't know anything about the reports that the Rockies wanted him, even though his name surfaced immediately as the player to be named later the club was targeting after sending right-handed reliever Ramon Ramirez to the Royals.

The trade was completed Wednesday, and De La Rosa will make his Rockies debut Saturday night against the Dodgers. In four starts at Omaha this season, De La Rosa was 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA and 23 strikeouts to only seven walks.

"I'm so glad to be coming here," De La Rosa said. "I really wasn't watching the Rockies or anything. I didn't know what was going on."

While with the Royals on May 18, 2007, De La Rosa held the Rockies to six hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings, but didn't figure in the decision in Kansas City's 5-2 victory.

"Our reports are he's a big left-hander with a big arm and we're waiting on some consistency," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "That's what the Royals were waiting on. Since they sent him down, he's had one of his best runs pitching in professional baseball. We'll see if that can correlate to the Major League level."

Pitching matchup
COL: LHP Jorge De La Rosa (8-12, 5.82 ERA in 2007)
By demoting left-handed rookie Franklin Morales to Triple-A Colorado Springs, moving lefty Jeff Francis to Friday night and pushing lefty Mark Redman to Tuesday against the Cardinals, the Rockies created an opening for Saturday, then completed a trade with the Royals for De La Rosa. De La Rosa was the player to be named in the Spring Training deal that sent right-handed reliever Ramon Ramirez to the Royals.

LAD: RHP Esteban Loaiza (1-2, 4.15 ERA)
Loaiza made his second start and got into the fifth inning on Sunday against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium. He maintained his stuff through four scoreless frames before the Rockies tagged him for both runs in the fifth inning. Loaiza allowed two earned runs, five hits, one walk and struck out one. He made the most out of 70 pitches, throwing 44 for strikes.

Rockies center fielder Willy Taveras earned his 12th and 13th stolen bases of the season in Friday night's 11-6 loss to the Dodgers. He has stolen eight straight and is 4-for-4 on steals of third. ... Todd Helton homered off Dodgers starter Brad Penny, who is 14-2 in his career against the Rockies. However, Helton is hitting .316 (18-for-57) against Penny. ... Right-handed reliever Jason Grilli made his Rockies debut Friday, giving up two hits but inducing a double-play grounder in the seventh. ... Scott Podsednik entered in the seventh and knocked a two-run triple Friday. He is 4-for-13 (.308) with five walks and a hit-by-pitch as a pinch-hitter.

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Up next
• Sunday: Rockies (Aaron Cook, 4-1, 2.41) vs. Dodgers (Derek Lowe, 2-1, 2.88), 1:05 p.m. MT
• Monday: Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez, 1-2, 5.90) vs. Cardinals (Joel Pineiro, 2-2, 3.75), 6:35 p.m. MT
• Tuesday: Rockies (Mark Redman, 2-2, 7.43) vs. Cardinals (Braden Looper, 4-1, 3.86), 6:35 p.m. MT

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.