Welcome to the 2023 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at every player to log playing time for the Rockies in 2023. The purpose of this list is to provide a snapshot of the player in context. The “Ranking” is an organizing principle that’s drawn from Baseball Reference’s WAR (rWAR). It’s not something the staff debated. We’ll begin with the player with the lowest rWAR and end up with the player with the highest.
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No. 24, Antonio Senzatela: 0.1 rWAR
In October 2021, Antonio Senzatela signed a five-year, $50.5 million contract with the Colorado Rockies that will keep the right-hander in purple pinstripes through 2026 with a $14 million club option for 2027.
Unfortunately, though, things have not gone according to plan since he inked that deal.
In 2022, Senzatela pitched 19 games before suffering a torn ACL in August. He made his triumphant return on May 5 against the New York Mets. After the Rockies lost ace Germán Márquez to Tommy John surgery in April, as well as Noah Davis to elbow inflammation around the same time (though he didn’t require surgery), Senzatela’s return was supposed to provide the spark to a struggling Rockies’ rotation. In his return, Senza pitched five innings, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out three and walking one. It was a great moment.
But his next start was not-so-great.
On May 10 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Senzatela was pulled after 2 2⁄3 innings after feeling pain and tightness on the underside of his forearm near the elbow. That sounded alarm bells amongst Rockies fans and, unfortunately, our worst fears were confirmed.
On July 14, it was officially announced that Antonio Senzatela, too, would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Senza tried the plasma-rich platelet treatment that Lucas Gilbreath tried during the offseason (he ultimately had TJS in March) and had some encouraging bullpen sessions, but it wasn’t enough. In total, the Rockies had six pitchers undergo Tommy John in 2023: major-leaguers Lucas Gilbreath, Germán Márquez and Antonio Senzatela, as well as prospects Gabriel Hughes, Jackson Cox and Jordy Vargas.
Looking ahead, Senzatela is likely projected to return close to the end of the 2024 season — the third year of his five-year contract. While the Rockies can’t fault him for the injuries, it will be interesting to see what happens when he is fully healthy and ready to go again.