Due to a 15-inning game on Wednesday and a pair of less-than-impressive starts by Ryan Dempster and Jon Lester the next two games, the bullpen has worked 15 2/3 innings over the last three nights.
The Sox have been in these situations before, and more times than not, bringing up a reliever from their farm system -- even if it has been for a short stint -- has worked out for them. Drake Britton, Brandon Workman, Beato and most recently Steven Wright have all been solid filling in this season. Having that many young arms ready to contribute is something manager John Farrell said he doesn't take for granted.
"It's clearly a sign of health for the organization," Farrell said. "You know guys in this stage of their career with multiple options, contractually you're not going to be able to acquire these type of players. So to have them in house, it is a luxury without question."
De La Rosa is the latest option Farrell has turned to. He was acquired from the Dodgers last season as part of the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to Los Angeles.
De La Rosa was briefly called up earlier this season, but entered Saturday's game waiting to make his first professional appearance with the Red Sox.
Due to his previous Major League pitching experience with the Dodgers -- including 10 starts -- De La Rosa was expected to be a player that the Red Sox could expect in the big leagues rather quickly.
But coming off Tommy John surgery in 2011, the right-hander has been inconsistent at times, compiling a 4.23 ERA over 20 starts at Pawtucket.
Farrell said De La Rosa might have felt a little discouraged to see so many of his teammates get a call to the Majors before him.
"I think it's probably human nature," the manager said. "Here's a guy that's pitched in the big leagues already. He's coming off a surgery, sees a number of guys that might have gone past him or get the call before he did, and I wouldn't say it would be uncommon that someone might feel that way. This recall isn't about feelings. Let's make that first and foremost clear. This is a guy that's got tremendous stuff that fills a need that we have right now."
Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.