Despite a Rockies off-day in the Cactus League, two prospective starters saw action on Monday. Antonio Senzatela and Jeff Hoffman each threw 60 pitches in minor-league intrasquads.
Here’s how they fared against guys on the minor league backfields; Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post addresses how intrasquad box scores “always have to be taken with a chunk of salt.”
- Senzatela: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
- Hoffman: 4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB (1 HBP), 9 K
Senzatela comes equipped with his new curveball this spring. Saunders mentions how his high-70’s curve helps to complement his 90’s fastball, helping him to be well equipped to put away hitters. Over his big league career, Senzatela has thrown a fastball roughly two-thirds of the time. On Monday he said he threw “a lot of breaking pitches.” His pitch selection in 2020 may adjust as a result of continued curveball development.
Saunders’ article doesn’t talk about Hoffman as much as Senzatela, but his strikeout total reasons he was dominant. Hoffman mainly calls upon a fastball/curveball mix bearing resemblance to what Senzatela seems to be working with this spring; Hoffman had given up four earned runs in 5.2 innings this spring leading up to Monday’s intrasquad work, compared to Senzatela’s one earned over five.
Both arms are vying for what appears to be the fourth and fifth starter spot. Chi Chi Gonzalez and Peter Lambert are in the discussion alongside Senzatela and Hoffman. Lambert has given up three earned runs over six innings; Gonzalez has allowed seven in seven, but looks to improve those numbers in his start this afternoon.
In his first start since being removed due to a back spasm, the presumable third starter Kyle Freeland allowed a run over three innings Sunday. He struck out four in the process.
Freeland departed a February 27th contest against the Cubs early due to low back discomfort. He commented that it felt “pretty good” the day after that start; precaution still ensued and Freeland missed his next scheduled start of the spring. He reportedly threw a bullpen session on Thursday, and his stat line Sunday suggested his back was legitimately in good shape.
Colorado’s opponent this afternoon, the Cincinnati Reds, took on the Chicago White Sox on Monday. Cincinnati brings a split squad to Salt River Fields today; the Reds also take on the Diamondbacks at their spring home in Goodyear, and they could easily keep the majority of their Opening Day lineup at home.
Here’s something uncharacteristic of the desert—the forecast in the Valley of the Sun calls for rain at various hours over the next four days. The Rockies had gorgeous weather for their Monday off day, and that weather might not be matched until the weekend.
FanGraphs has posted two job openings the Colorado Rockies look to fill, both within their research and development department. If you’re reading this as a devout baseball fan and have an advanced degree or related experience in Mathematics, Statistics, Economics or a related Computer Science, this may be for you.
Even if you aren’t as versed of a candidate, it’s still interesting to take a look at job responsibilities and specifics for such an employee.