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Antonio Senzatela ready to rejoin Rockies for doubleheader vs. Marlins

Sportsnaut
May 16, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela (49) pitches in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Senzatela is back.

The Colorado Rockies’ right-hander, who hasn’t pitched since May 16 due to a lower back strain, is set to make his return on Wednesday afternoon in the opener of a doubleheader against the Miami Marlins in Denver.

Colorado won the series opener 7-1 on Monday night. The scheduled Tuesday game was postponed due to rain.

The Rockies are set to throw right-hander German Marquez (1-5, 6.30 ERA) in Wednesday’s second game. Marquez is fairly durable, having lasted six innings in each of his past four starts. However, the Rockies are just 3-6 in his outings this year.

Miami will start lefty Trevor Rogers (2-5, 5.23) and rookie right-hander Edward Cabrera (first major league appearance this year), although not necessarily in that order.

Senzatela (2-2, 4.55) has made seven starts this season and has lasted beyond the fifth inning just once. In five career appearances against the Marlins, including one start, he is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA.

Oddly, Senzatela has better career numbers at home — in Denver’s high altitude that usually is brutal for pitchers — than on the road. At home, he is 26-12 with a 4.50 ERA. On the road, he is 12-25 with a 5.23 ERA.

Last Friday, Senzatela pitched four innings in a rehab assignment in Triple-A Albuquerque, allowing eight hits and four runs.

“I was just trying to make sure my back felt good,” he said. “I want to make sure I don’t get injured again.”

Marquez, meanwhile, is better on the road (3.96 ERA) than at home (4.83) in his career. He is 3-3 with a 4.11 ERA in six lifetime starts against the Marlins.

As for the Marlins, they went 12-8 in a strong April but slumped to 7-19 in May.

Center fielder Jesus Sanchez typifies Miami’s downturn. He hit .282 with 12 RBIs and an .839 OPS in April before struggling last month, when he batted .158 with just two RBIs and a .513 OPS.

Sanchez, though, hit a 496-foot homer against the Rockies on Monday, the longest homer ever hit at Coors Field by a left-handed batter.

“That was monumental,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “You don’t get that feeling more than a couple of times in your lifetime.”

Rogers will take the mound Wednesday looking to find the form from his rookie season last year, when he finished 7-8 with a 2.64 ERA. This year, he has just one quality start, and the Marlins are 2-7 in his nine appearances. He has allowed a total of eight runs in his past two starts while lasting just nine innings.

In his only career appearance against the Rockies, Rogers earned a home win on June 10, 2021, after throwing seven innings and giving up two runs (one earned).

Cabrera, who has never faced the Rockies, made his major league debut last year, going 0-3 with a 5.81 ERA in seven starts.

Ranked among the Marlins’ top prospects, Cabrera, 24, was shut down in early April due to a biceps injury.

He made his 2022 debut on April 27, pitching four scoreless innings for Class-A Jupiter. He then posted a 4.56 ERA in five starts for Triple-A Jacksonville, striking out 32 and walking 12 in 23 2/3 innings.

Cabrera has explosive stuff: a 100 mph fastball, a power curve, a darting slider and a low-90s changeup. All four are above-average major league pitches, but his changeup — which was nearly unhittable in the minors — flattened in his brief major league trial in 2021.

–Field Level Media