Senzatela sharp in spring debut against KC

February 26th, 2019

SURPRISE, Ariz. --  feels so comfortable with his changeup at this point that he threw it five or six times in his two innings against the Royals in the Rockies' 12-5 win on Monday afternoon at Surprise Stadium.n

Senzatela said his slider feels pretty good, too. His curveball? He likes where it’s at right now.

That’s good news for a club hoping the right-hander will improve on his secondary pitches heading into the 2019 regular season.

“Overall, it was fine with Senza,” manager Bud Black said. “The fastball had some velocity to it, and I really liked the hand speed on the changeup. I thought he threw the ball well for his first outing.”

Last season, Senzatela went 6-6 with a 4.38 ERA in 90 1/3 innings for the Rockies. He struck out 69 batters and walked 30. He went 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA in 37 2/3 innings for Triple-A Albuquerque.

Senzatela wants to be better in 2019.

“I worked on my changeup and I did a good job,” he said. “I tried to get the changeup around the plate. It was really good today.”

Special meet-and-greet

The Rockies hosted a group of pediatric cancer patients from Colorado at Salt River Fields on Tuesday before the club traveled to Surprise to take on the Royals.

It’s the seventh year in a row the patients have visited the team.

“The doctors try to identify specific kids that will benefit from this trip because it’s so hard to go through what they are going through, especially as a teenager,” Rockies vice president of community and retail operations Jim Kellogg said. “The whole idea is to let these kids be around other kids that are going through a similar thing because going through chemo treatment is something you do alone. Here, they are around other kids and building relationships. They also see their nurses and doctors in different environments, and they open up more to them.”

The 24 patients and 13 caregivers watched the Rockies play from the patio at Salt River Fields and they were visited by Chad Bettis, Tony Wolters and DJ Johnson on Sunday. They participated in a meet-and-greet with players and officials on Monday morning.

“I think it’s such good stuff,” Black said. “The relationships between all of the hospitals in Denver and the organization is really awesome.”

The trip, which was sponsored by the Rockies Wives Foundation, included a stay at a five-star hotel and stop at In-and-Out Burger on the way to the airport. The teens also received a jersey with their name on it and a Rockies cap.

Worth noting

Raimel Tapia finished 3-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBIs. He led off Monday's game with a home run on the game’s first pitch.

Up next

The Rockies will give the ball to Kyle Freeland at 3:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday as they take on the Indians at Salt River Fields. Rico Garcia, Evan Grills, Seunghwan Oh, Chris Rusin and Rayan Gonzalez are also scheduled to pitch for Colorado.