The Rockies announced that righty Antonio Senzatela has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to a right groin strain. Left-hander Lucas Gilbreath has been called up from the alternate training site in the corresponding move.
The injury compounds a tough beginning to the season for Senzatela, who has a 5.76 ERA through six starts. The ERA is perhaps a bit deceptive, as he allowed seven runs over 3 1/3 innings in his first outing of the season and a 4.10 ERA in in his five outings, though Senzatela’s Statcast metrics aren’t terribly impressive. The grounder specialist has his typically strong ground-ball rate (52.4%) but his 13.1% strikeout rate is among the league’s lowest. Senzatela’s arsenal has made him a decent back-of-the-rotation option for Colorado over the last three seasons, and he had a 3.44 ERA over 73 1/3 frames in 2020.
It isn’t known if Senzatela will miss much time beyond the minimum 10 days, and with Kyle Freeland already on the IL, Colorado is facing an early test of its pitching depth. In filling Senzatela’s rotation spot, the Rockies could turn to Jhoulys Chacin on the big league roster, or perhaps Jose Mujica, Ryan Castellani, or Antonio Santos from the minor leagues. Veteran Ivan Nova was also recently signed to a minors deal.
Gilbreath isn’t likely an option, since MLB Pipeline’s scouting report notes that the Rockies moved Gilbreath to a relief role in 2020. A seventh-round pick for Colorado in the 2017 draft, Gilbreath has a 5.35 ERA and 21.6% strikeout rate over 303 minor league innings, none above the high-A level. Gilbreath has started 59 of his 66 career games down on the farm, but his two-pitch combo of a plus fastball and slider could make him better suited to bullpen work going forward. Pipeline ranks Gilbreath as the 26th-best prospect in the Rockies’ farm system.