The first contract of the Bill Schmidt era in Colorado has arrived. The Rockies and right-handed starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela have reached an agreement on a contract extension, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The five year extension will pay Senzatela $50.5 million and keep the Venezuelan in purple through at least the 2026 season. The deal also includes a $14 million club option for 2027.
Per Passan, the contract will pay Senzatela $7.25 million in 2022 and 2023, then increase to $12 million for the 2024-2026 seasons.
Antonio Senzatela was one of the Colorado Rockies’ most consistent pitchers in 2021, starting 28 games and pitching 156 2⁄3 innings—second most on the team behind Germán Márquez— to the tune of a 4.42 ERA. His ERA was sitting at a team-best 4.10 before a tough final start of the season where he gave up six runs in just 2⁄3 of an inning, his worst start of a long season. Down the stretch, as other Rockies starters began to run out of gas, Senzatela remained rock solid through August and September, rattling off seven straight quality starts and pitching for at least six complete innings in nine of his last ten starts.
Senzatela is an interesting starting pitcher. A true ground-ball specialist, Senzatela kept hitters on the ground for a whopping 52.3% of balls put into play, according to baseball savant. His K% ranked in the bottom fifth percentile in the league. However, his ability to avoid walks has his BB% in the upper 95th. He also does a great job keeping opposing batters from barreling the ball, with a barrel percentage in the upper 79th percentile.
One of the major concerns about Senzatela was his limited pitch mix when he broke into the big leagues. Since then, he’s added an extremely effective changeup to his arsenal, as well as an improved slider, a curveball, and a sinker. He uses these pitches effectively in the dangerous confines of Coors Field, where he had an ERA of just 3.97 through 15 starts and 90 2⁄3 innings pitched. He also allowed the fewest overall home runs out of the rotation at just 12, five of which were at Coors.
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Purple Row is monitoring this situation and will continue to update as more information becomes available.