Beginning on Thursday afternoon, for the first time since mid-June, the Colorado Rockies will have their top five starting pitchers available.
Antonio Senzatela was activated from the 10-day injured list on Thursday morning prior to the Rockies finishing up their three-game series with the Chicago Cubs at Coors Field. Senzatela drew his first start since going on the IL on July 16 after contracting COVID-19.
To make room on the active roster for Senzatela, as well as right-handed reliever Yency Almonte who was also activated prior to the Cubs game, the Rockies optioned infielder Rio Ruiz and left-handed reliever Zac Rosscup to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Here’s why Antonio Senzatela’s return is a big deal for the Colorado Rockies rotation
While Senzatela may not have put up the numbers so far this season that Colorado fans and leadership might have hoped (2-8 record and 4.58 ERA) after a strong 2020, Senzatela’s presence on the mound means that Colorado’s rotation, considered one of the biggest strengths of the team heading into the campaign, is finally cleared of injury and available.
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This marks the first time that Kyle Freeland, Austin Gomber, Jon Gray, Germán Márquez, and Senzatela are available to Colorado manager Bud Black since Gomber left the game on June 19 with left forearm tightness and went on the injured list shortly thereafter. He didn’t return to the rotation until July 21, which was after Senzatela had been shelved by COVID-19.
And let’s not forget that the rotation was without Freeland to start the season after the southpaw suffered a shoulder injury in spring training and didn’t make his season debut until May 25.
Despite the injuries, Colorado’s rotation has been solid this season. Since June 17, Rockies starters have posted a 3.41 ERA, ranking fourth in MLB and third in the National League during that span. Márquez (1.99 ERA), Freeland (2.15), and Gray (2.85) have paced the Rockies during that stretch.
Colorado starters also rank sixth in MLB with 580.2 innings pitched. That’s good enough for third in the NL behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (587.1 IP) and Milwaukee Brewers (582.1).