Pitcher Antonio Senzatela Optioned to AAA Albuquerque

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 11: Antonio Senzatela
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 11: Antonio Senzatela /
DENVER, CO – JUNE 16: Starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela
DENVER, CO – JUNE 16: Starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela /

Senzatela was in the bullpen for the Rockies for the past two weeks.

According to a Rockies press release, the Rockies right-handed pitcher Antonio Senzatela will be optioned to AAA Albuquerque before the start of today’s game against the Colorado Rockies. He was optioned when relief pitcher Zac Rosscup was recalled from Albuquerque.

Senzatela in his first seven starts

Senzatela made 15 starts before he was sent to the bullpen. In his starts, he went 9-3 with a 4.79 ERA and 88 1/3 innings pitched.  His first seven, though, were excellent as he was (through May 9) 5-1 with a 2.86 ERA and he averaged 6 1/3 innings a start. His opponent’s only had a batting average of .228, an on-base percentage of .284, a slugging percentage of of .386, a BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) of .239.

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Senzatela’s last eight starts

He made his last start on June 22 against the Arizona Diamondbacks in which he allowed nine runs in only five innings of work. That start was the sixth out of his last eight that he allowed four earned runs or more. It was also his fifth start in his previous eight that he did not last more than five innings. In his following eight starts, he went 4-2 with a 6.70 ERA and he averaged a little less than 5 2/3 innings per start. His opponent’s slash line was .286/.349/.520, and a BABIP of .311.

Senzatela in the bullpen

In the Rockies’ past 14 games, they had only used Senzatela three times but overall, he pitched well. He pitched in five innings and only allowed one hit and one run (both of them were allowed in the Rockies’ win yesterday, as recapped by our own Kevin Henry here.

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Final thoughts

I published an article earlier today talking about how Senzatela will, after the All-Star break, probably return to the starting rotation. This will still be the case as Senzatela will not be down in Albuquerque for long. I suspect, especially with the All-Star break coming up this week and with Senzatela being a rookie, the Rockies’ are doing this to reduce his MLB service time. If he’s down in the minor leagues for just two weeks, the Rockies’ will get another year of service time with him (the whole explanation of service time is explained in this article from MLB.com in 2015 about the Chicago Cubs keeping Kris Bryant down in the minor leagues at the beginning of the season). So this is not a surprising move by the Rockies. In fact, it’s a smart one.