Antonio Senzatela returned at a time when the Rockies were desperate for solid starting pitching. And he gave them more than enough to be happy about in his first start of the season.
Senzatela, making his first major league start since tearing his ACL on Aug. 18, 2022, gave the Rockies five innings on Friday, allowing just one run on three hits. That one run, though, was all the Mets needed to beat the Rockies 1-0 to open the three-game series in Queens, N.Y.
Early May was always the target for Senzatela, but, with the recent injuries to the pitching staff, the team was crossing their fingers that his recovery stayed on track. Colorado is already without two starters with Germán Márquez (Tommy John surgery, out for season) and Noah Davis (elbow inflammation, return TBD) on the injured list.
Senzatela didn't look rusty at all. He came out firing, starting his day with an easy 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. Senzatela's velocity was slightly up on his fastball, and he implemented his changeup early. That's a pitch he typically only throws once or twice a game in later innings.
Senzatela didn't allow his first hit until the fourth, when Brandon Nimmo took the first pitch of the inning 399 feet to right center field. Senzatela ran into some traffic in the fifth, walking Brent Baty and allowing a single to Daniel Vogelbach, but was able to get himself out of it. The walk to Baty was the only one Senzatela allowed on Friday.
The Rockies designated Yonathan Daza for assignment on Friday, likely ending his tenure with the team. On the surface his numbers looked fine —including his .270 batting average — but he has little power and a low on base percentage (.304). The team also doesn't need his center-field skills anymore, as Randal Grichuk is back from the injured list and Brenton Doyle is holding up just fine in his intro to the major leagues.
Colorado also made a catching change, optioning Brian Serven to Triple-A and activating Austin Wynns, who was claimed off waivers from the Dodgers on Thursday. Serven's playing time has been limited with Elias Díaz off to a scorching start at the plate — Díaz currently leads the team in nearly every offensive category. When Serven did get in he wasn't able to produce, gathering only three hits in 23 at-bats. Optioning Serven will give him a chance to get regular at-bats. Meanwhile, the young Rockies' pitching staff will get a veteran backstop in Wynns calling pitches behind the plate for them.
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