The Rockies announced a series of roster moves today, with right-hander Antonio Senzatela being reinstated from the injured list and catcher Austin Wynns added to the active roster, the latter having been claimed off waivers from the Dodgers last night. In corresponding moves, catcher Brian Serven was optioned to Triple-A while outfielder Yonathan Daza was designated for assignment.
Daza, 29, has seen significant playing time with the Rockies in recent years, with his ability to play all three outfield positions making him a useful player to have around. Since the start of 2021, he’s played 244 games for the Rockies and taken 819 trips to the plate. That includes 172 games in center field, splitting that position with players including Sam Hilliard, Garrett Hampson and Randal Grichuk. He hasn’t been an elite defender, with Outs Above Average considering him exactly average in center for his career while he has -17 Defensive Runs Saved and a grade of -6.8 from Ultimate Zone Rating.
At the plate, Daza is tough to strike out and generally runs good batting averages but with little else to be excited about. He has a .281 batting average in his career but has just four home runs in 924 plate appearances, despite playing his home games at Coors Field. He’s hitting .270/.304/.351 here in 2023 for a wRC+ of 63, walking at just a 3.8% clip with no homers or even a triple.
The Rockies suddenly had a bit of a crowded center field depth chart, as Grichuk recently came off the injured list and rookie Brenton Doyle was promoted. Those two have seemingly squeezed Daza out of playing time, as he last started back on April 23. Since he’s out of options, the only way to get him off the active roster was to designate him for assignment. The club will now have one week to trade him or pass him through waivers. He doesn’t have a previous career outright or three years of service time, meaning that he would stick with the club in the event he goes through waivers unclaimed.
As for Senzatela, he will be making his season debut, having been out of action since suffering a torn ACL in August of last year. He’s been an effective ground ball pitcher for the Rockies in the past, posting a 4.11 ERA over 2020 and 2021. He only struck out 15% of hitters in that time but kept walks down to a 5.1% rate and got grounders on 51.1% of balls in play. It was after that latter season that the club signed him to a $50.5MM extension that runs through 2026 with a club option for 2027. He had a 5.07 ERA last year prior to his injury, but with very similar peripherals and an inflated .383 batting average on balls in play that suggests he was closer to his usual self than it might appear.
He’ll step into a Colorado rotation that’s been dealing with various challenges recently. It was recently reported that Germán Márquez will undergo Tommy John surgery, keeping him out of action for the rest of the year and part of next year as well. Ryan Rolison and Noah Davis are also on the injured list, leaving the club with Kyle Freeland, Austin Gomber, Ryan Feltner and Connor Seabold in four spots.