One reason to be encouraged about 2013 ...

... Is that Rubby De La Rosa, who figures to be a fixture in the Dodgers' starting rotation for years to come, is doing well on his rehab from Tommy John surgery. He said Wednesday morning he hasn't suffered any setbacks and is hoping to begin throwing off a mound sometime in April, putting him on track to possibly begin a rehabilitation assignment after the All-Star break.

Now, these things tend to be unpredictable, and the fact he hasn't had a setback so far doesn't mean he won't have one at some point. That's why it takes a year to a year and a half to return from TJ surgery. But so far, so good, and he said he feels like he could throw off a mound now -- but he also said he is adhering strictly to his prescribed program because he wants to get back as soon as he can.

On another note, he will be doing all his interviews this year in English, a language De La Rosa still struggles with. Because the Dodgers lost Hiroki Kuroda to free agency this winter, they also lost his interpreter, Kenji Nimura, who served in that role for both Japanese- and Spanish-speaking players. Asked whom he will miss the most between Kuroda and Nimura, DLR laughed and said, "probably Kenji."