Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela has UCL sprain in elbow, will avoid surgery

The Rockies’ paper-thin rotation just got even thinner.

Antonio Senzatela has a ulnar collateral ligament sprain in his right elbow, manager Bud Black said on Friday, and will go on the 15-day injured list. Senzatela, who recently returned from an anterior cruciate ligament tear suffered late last season, was pulled in the third inning of his second start on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

The club initially labeled Senzatela’s injury as right forearm tightness, and after imaging, the Rockies avoided the worst-case scenario with his elbow. He won’t be throwing for at least a few weeks before he starts to build his arm back up, and it will likely be at least a couple months before he’s back pitching in a game.

“The news is favorable, considering what it could be,” Black said. “In this cases you sort of expect the worst, but he’s going to be okay. There’s no surgery or anything like that. It’s going to require some rest and some (non-invasive) treatment. He’s should be able to pitch again this year.”

Senzatela said he started feeling discomfort after his first start of the season on May 5 in New York, when he had atypical lingering soreness in his elbow.

“During the game against (the Pirates), it was feeling really bad,” Senzatela said. “It never got loose during the game, and it was painful every time I threw… If a (platelet-rich plasma) injection is going to work, we might do that, but we don’t have anything planned yet.”

Senzatela’s injury is another major blow to the rotation after the Rockies lost opening-day starter German Marquez to a more severe UCL injury. Marquez, who made three starts before being put on the 15-day injured list for right forearm tightness, returned to start in Cleveland on April 26. But he was pulled in the fourth inning, and it was later determined he needed Tommy John.

That leaves the Rockies with Kyle Freeland… and everybody else. Once Senzatela returned from knee surgery, he, Marquez and Freeland were supposed to carry a rotation that lacked consistent starters on the back side. Now it’s up to Freeland to be the ace for the time being. So far he’s held up his end of the bargain, with a 3.57 ERA in eight outings.

Austin Gomber, Ryan Feltner and Connor Seabold currently make up the rest of the rotation, but Black will have another hole to fill in Senzatela’s spot on Tuesday against the Reds. Colorado made a move to address that Friday ahead of the homestand opener against Philadelphia, claiming right-hander Chase Anderson off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays. Colorado’s 40-man roster is now full.

Anderson, 35, hasn’t allowed a run in five innings (two games) in relief for Tampa Bay this year after starting the season with Cincinnati’s Triple-A team. He’s made 183 major-league starts, including seven last season for the Reds, and has a 4.23 ERA in 201 games. Anderson will be plugged into Senzatela’s spot in the rotation.

“The timing worked out for us (to acquire Anderson),” Black said. “More than likely, he’ll be starting Tuesday’s game, because he already started five games in the minor leagues this year for the Reds.”

Senzatela, who signed a five-year, $50.5 million extension ahead of last season, is under contract with Colorado through 2027, with the final year a club option. Marquez, meanwhile, might have thrown his last pitch with Colorado. He’s in the final year of his five-year, $43 million deal, and the club holds a $16.5 million option next year, with a $2.5 million buyout.

Black said Marquez underwent surgery on Friday in the Denver area.

Saturday’s pitching matchup

Phillies LHP Ranger Suarez (2023 debut) at Rockies RHP Ryan Feltner (2-2, 5.08)

6:10 p.m. Saturday, Coors Field


Radio: 850 AM/94.1 FM

Suarez was a rock during the Phillies’ postseason run to the World Series, with a 1.23 ERA in five games. He put up a 3.65 ERA across 29 starts last season. The southpaw had been rehabbing from an elbow injury ahead of his season debut. Meanwhile, Feltner has been gaining momentum, pitching at least five innings with two earned runs or less in three of his past four starts. He gets into trouble with walks.

Pitching probables

Sunday: Phillies LHP Matt Strahm (2-3, 3.14) at Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (3-4, 3.57), 1:10 p.m., ATTRM

Monday: Reds RHP Hunter Green (0-3, 3.69) at Rockies RHP Connor Seabold (1-0, 4.56), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM

Tuesday: Reds TBA at Rockies RHP Chase Anderson (0-0, 0.00 with Rays), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM

Source: Read Full Article