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Rockies call up catcher Brian Serven, send Antonio Senzatela to the IL

The Rockies have made several roster moves, including sending Antonio Senzatela to the IL while calling up 2016 draft pick Brian Serven.

The Colorado Rockies have announced several roster moves prior to Tuesday’s game against the San Francisco Giants.

C Brian Serven called up to MLB; C Dom Nuñez optioned to Triple-A

The first big move is that the Rockies are calling up minor league catcher Brian Serven from Triple-A Albuquerque, adding him to the 40-man roster. He is expected to make his big league debut on Wednesday with Kyle Freeland on the mound, and will fill the role of backup catcher. He will wear jersey no. 6 (last worn by Drew Butera in 2020).

Serven was drafted by the Rockies in the fifth round of the 2016 draft out of Arizona State University, where he played some outfield in addition to his catching duties. The 27-year old former Sun Devil has a career line of .245/.318/.429 across six seasons of minor league service in the Rockies organization.

Serven hit .214/.389/.429 with a home run and three RBIs in 14 at-bats during spring training before being assigned to the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. His performance with the Isotopes so far this season makes him an intriguing option for a scuffling Rockies offense. In 23 games and 77 at-bats with Albuquerque, Serven is hitting .273/.406/.506 with five home runs, three doubles, and 11 RBIs. He’s also showing good plate discipline with 16 walks to 15 strikeouts.

In a corresponding roster move, catcher Dom Nuñez has been optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque. Nuñez has been struggling in 2022 with an average of .143 in 28 at-bats. He has just one extra base hit. He has shown remarkably improved discipline at the plate by drawing six walks and striking out just seven times. However, he’s been unable to get the ball in play. Nuñez has yet to post a single season batting average above .200. He hit .179 in 2019 and .189 in 2021.

RHP Antonio Senzatela placed on 15-day IL (low back strain); RHP Justin Lawrence recalled

The Rockies are also sending RHP Antonio Senzatela to the 15-day injured list with a lower back strain. Senzatela started Monday’s game against the San Francisco Giants but left after just two innings of work. Senzatela has an ERA of 4.55 through seven starts and 29 23 innings in 2022.

Senzatela’s next scheduled start doesn’t come until Sunday, giving the Rockies time to decide who will pitch in his place. Both LHP Ty Blach and RHP Jhoulys Chacín are capable of making spot starts, though the Rockies could also recall RHP Ryan Feltner (no. 15 PuRP) from Triple-A.

In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Justin Lawrence has been recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque. Lawrence has been a solid contributor to the big league club so far, but was optioned for lefty reinforcements to the bullpen on May 8th. He has an ERA of 2.19 over 11 appearances and 12 13 innings with 16 strikeouts despite ten walks. During his short stint with the Isotopes, Lawrence made four scoreless appearances with eight strikeouts and no walks.

Other roster news

LF Kris Bryant will be joining the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes to begin a two game rehab stint against the Salt Lake Bees. Bryant has been sidelined with a back injury since the end of April and only recently resumed baseball activities. If his rehab assignment goes well, Bryant could rejoin the Rockies on Friday as the team begins a series against the New York Mets.

First announced by Thomas Harding, RHP Peter Lambert will pitch one inning tonight with the Albuquerque Isotopes. Lambert had Tommy John surgery in 2020 and started the 2022 season on the 10-day IL with right forearm inflammation. The Rockies have been very cautious with Lambert’s rehab and recovery.