Colorado Rockies come to terms with key piece of 2021 rotation

The Colorado Rockies have come to terms with starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela for the 2021 season, avoiding arbitration with a reported $3 million deal.

According to our FanSided friend Robert Murray, the 25-year-old Senzatela received quite a jump from his $573,500 salary (that eventually was prorated because of the shortened schedule) from last season. The Colorado Rockies right-hander put together a solid season, posting a 3.44 ERA (153 ERA+), 4.57 FIP, and 1.214 WHIP in 73.1 innings across 12 starts.

The Rockies confirmed the one-year agreement, but did not disclose the salary as is customary.

Senzatela established himself as one of the key pieces of the Rockies rotation in 2020 and was especially effective at Coors Field, going 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA in five starts at 20th and Blake. Part of that stellar statistic includes a complete game win against the Oakland A’s on September 15 when Senzatela needed just 109 pitches to help the Rockies to a 3-1 win. In that outing, he scattered six hits while striking out three and walking just one.

This year wasn’t the only season that Senzatela has found success pitching at altitude. His .700 career winning percentage in Denver is the second-highest of any Rockies starter at home (minimum 30 starts) in franchise history. In just his fourth season, Senzatela already holds the ninth-most wins at home in Rockies history with 21.

One of the reasons for Senzatela’s success in 2020? His change-up. MLB Quality of Pitch tweeted that his change-up last season was in the top 18 percent of all Major League pitchers and his location with it ranked in the top 5 percent.

The $3 million price tag might be a bit higher than analysts originally forecast. However, Senzatela is expected to be a key piece of the rotation in Colorado for 2021 and repeatedly showed his potential last season. He is expected to be joined in the 2021 rotation by Kyle Freeland and Jon Gray, both of whom are part of Colorado’s big arbitration deadline group as Friday’s deadline approaches.

There is expected to be more news on the salary front this week from the Rockies. We’ll keep you updated with the latest news as spring training draws ever closer.