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Senzatela optioned, will get work as starter

Rusin activated from DL, gives Rockies 4 lefties in 'pen
Special to MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The Rockies thought their best team out of Spring Training included Antonio Senzatela pitching out of the bullpen. They think their best team moving forward includes Senzatela as an option to pitch as a starter.

So when left-hander Chris Rusin came off the disabled list Friday, the corresponding move was to send Senzatela to Triple-A Albuquerque. Rockies manager Bud Black said Senzatela is scheduled to start for the Isotopes on Saturday against El Paso.

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NEW YORK -- The Rockies thought their best team out of Spring Training included Antonio Senzatela pitching out of the bullpen. They think their best team moving forward includes Senzatela as an option to pitch as a starter.

So when left-hander Chris Rusin came off the disabled list Friday, the corresponding move was to send Senzatela to Triple-A Albuquerque. Rockies manager Bud Black said Senzatela is scheduled to start for the Isotopes on Saturday against El Paso.

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"At this time of the season, we felt it was best for Antonio and for the big picture for the Rockies to get him some starts," Black said. "We want to get him back to probably his natural role. We'll see where we are in a couple weeks. We may need him [in the bullpen] again. But for starting pitching depth, it's important he's there."

Senzatela started 20 games for the Rockies last season, going 10-5 with a 5.03 ERA in those games. He has strictly been a reliever so far this season, with a 6.23 ERA in 10 appearances. The Rockies extended him to 57 and 61 pitches in his past two appearances, but now they'll want him to go more than that as a starter.

Rusin returns
Rusin had a 4.97 ERA in eight appearances before he went on the DL on April 23 with a right intercostal muscle strain. But he didn't allow a run in his last 6 2/3 innings.

"At the beginning of the year, I struggled with my delivery and tempo," Rusin said. "The last week before I injured myself, I felt better. I should be fine [coming back]. I've felt fine the last couple times on the mound."

Video: ATL@COL: Rusin prevents Swanson from getting cycle

Adding Rusin gives the Rockies four left-handers in the bullpen.

"Isn't that great?" said Black, a former left-handed pitcher himself. "If you can pitch, you should be able to get anyone out."

Black is especially happy to have Rusin, who was a key part of his bullpen last season.

"He saved us so many times, helped us win a lot of games," Black said. "When he comes in, everyone feels good. He's such a big part of our bullpen."

Parra gets another start
With Carlos Gonzalez off the disabled list and David Dahl up from the Minor Leagues, Gerardo Parra could lose some starts in the outfield. But Parra was starting in left field Friday against Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler, with Dahl sitting.

"Parra had three hits the other day," Black explained. "These guys are going to play. We'll use them all."

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York.

Colorado Rockies, Chris Rusin, Antonio Senzatela