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Rockies pitcher Antonio Senzatela adds advanced repertoire to the league’s youngest rotation

Rockies news and links for May 2, 2017.

Rubbing Mud: New-Stats Rookie Antonio Senzatela | Baseball Prospectus

Antonio Senzatela has been successful so far this season. Here, Matthew Trueblood digs into how and why he's been successful. He looks to some of the new pitching metrics Baseball Prospectus rolled out earlier this year. What they say, so far at least, is that Senzatela's pitches have distinct movement and that his pitch sequencing have kept hitters guessing. Both of those things have led to weak contact. Senzatela hasn’t missed a lot of bats, and he hasn’t struck out that many batters thus far.

In particular, Trueblood points out that Senzatela has thrown his four-seam fastball twice in a row a league high 200 times. In those sequences, his release point varies more than almost any other pitcher, as does the pitch speed for the sequential fastballs. "Senzatela throws hitters off by not having a consistent enough release to even allow them to look for tipped pitches," Trueblood writes.

Rockies have the youngest rotation in the majors | Denver Post

Nick Groke tells the story of how the Rockies pursued Germán Márquez when he was a teenager in Venezuela. They attempted to sign him, but they couldn't grab both of the arms they wanted. The other one was Antonio Senzatela. Márquez, of course, made his way to the Rockies in December 2015 as part of the deal that sent Corey Dickerson to Tampa Bay. Now, Márquez and Senzatela both form part of what is the youngest starting rotation in the majors.

Rockies Inbox: Who has been team's MVP so far? |

Thomas Harding answers some questions in his mailbag column. His answer to the headline question is Charlie Blackmon. Chuck had a great April, but I'd cast my vote for Nolan Arenado, who has been the team's best hitter while also playing his typically superlative defense. Harding also answers questions about what Bud Black brings to the team, the status of Carlos González with the team, and Tyler Anderson's early season troubles.

Monday Morning Ten Pack: May 1, 2017 | Baseball Prospectus ($)

Jeffrey Paternostro has an eyewitness scouting report of Ryan Castellani. He offers a positive review of Castellani's pitch mix and stuff, but he also points out some potential trouble areas. Namely, his command and mechanics need work. Paternostro thinks that Castellani could be refined enough to pitch out of the major-league bullpen as soon as this season, but given the Rockies' pitching depth and Castellani's starter potential, they shouldn't make such a move. He concludes that Castellani "does tick a few of my usual 'future reliever' boxes, but something about watching him on the mound made me think he has better odds to make it as a starter than I'd usually give this profile."

What can we conclude so far about Rockies bats? | BSN Rockies

The question in the title is about statistical conclusions that can be drawn from the small samples Rockies' hitters have posted thus far. The method is derived from Russell Carleton's 2007 analysis that asked at which point statistics "stabilize"—or, rather, when they can be reliably used. Generally, process-oriented stats like batted ball rates are reliable much faster than stats like batting average and on-base percentage. Karp then uses this to suggest that DJ LeMahieu and Mark Reynolds, in particular, "have undergone a large change in approach prior to 2016."

It's necessary to point out that in a recent post at Baseball Prospectus, where Carelton writes, he looks back at his decade-old article and concedes that his initial conclusions have been applied incorrectly, even by himself. The "stability/reliability" to which he referred wasn't meant to be extrapolated for different contexts. So what we can conclude about some of the information from batters this season is that they are trustworthy indicators, depending on the stat, for performance this season against the pitchers the hitter faced, just like last season's early stats were indicators of reliability for that season and its competition.

Rockies beginning to fire on all cylinders as they end April atop NL West | Mile High Sports

This is a quick review of a team-wide view of the Rockies in April. I don't think the Rockies have had everything click for more than a game here and there, but that's because injuries have made that impossible. Ultimately though, the Rockies had an excellent April and are well positioned to stay competitive.