Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right groin strain on Saturday. Before his start on Thursday in Phoenix, Senzatela felt something was off while warming up in the bullpen. He assured manager Bud Black and other coaches that he was fine.
“You notice his velocity was a little bit down,” said Black of the right-hander throwing an average of 88 mph. “He hung in there and threw 104 pitches, gave us a chance to win in a close game against [D-backs right-hander Luke] Weaver.”
After tossing 4 2/3 innings in that 5-3 loss to the D-backs, Senzatela started complaining of soreness he experienced throughout the outing.
“We feel that, hopefully, this is just missing one start,” said Black on Saturday. “He's doing much better today than yesterday. The soreness is lessening, the mobility is lessening and the strength is pretty good.”
Black believes that the righty could rejoin the rotation later in the week, either before or after the Rockies travel to St. Louis.
The southpaw made a strong impression in Spring Training, impressing Black and other coaches physically and mentally. Between 2017-19, Gilbreath made 59 starts across three levels -- Rookie ball, Low-A and High-A -- posting a 5.53 ERA.
Probables for Giants series TBD
The Rockies have yet to announce their rotation for the upcoming homestand against the Giants, but Black believes a few members of the organization are ready to step into that starting role.
“Jhoulys Chacín could,” Black said of the righty, who threw 49 pitches against the Giants on Monday. “If we decide to go that way, he can give us 65 or 70 pitches, which could be conceivably five innings if he's efficient.
Some arms from the 40-man roster have also impressed the Rockies’ skipper, including José Mujica (who has been logging innings at the alternate site), Antonio Santos, Ryan Castellani and Rockies No. 2 prospect Ryan Rolison -- who is not on the 40-man roster but is getting closer, according to Black.
“I think those four guys probably are the next wave of starting-pitching depth, along with Chacín,” said Black.
New month, fresh start
The Rockies’ pitching has been off to a slow start this season, posting a staff ERA of 4.76 that ranks among the last six teams in the league.
Black said that while he doesn’t make predictions, he knows that the month of May will give his team a chance to make some adjustments.
“I would like to think two things -- our bullpen will be better this month, and our offense will be better this month,” said Black.