Antonio Senzatela’s worst struggles could be ahead for the Rockies
May 13, 2022, 1:01 PM
Antonio Senzatela hasn’t been great to start 2022, and things may soon worsen for the Colorado Rockies right-hander.
Senzatela has survived through six starts, to the tune of a 2-2 record and 4.88 ERA. While his ERA does rank 29th worst in MLB, it is not the worst on his own team (German Marquez) and isn’t too alarming. The Venezuelan has managed to have a very solid career with an ERA of 4.85 over his six seasons. Again the ERA is not really the concern, nor is the record; he’s been mostly okay.
But digging into Senzatela reveals a scary picture and details that the pitcher may be about to come into a rough stretch.
He has surrendered the most hits in baseball (47) and has the fewest strikeouts (8) among hurlers, with at least 20 innings in 2022. That’s right, Senzatela has only set down eight batters in his six starts this season. Strikeouts have never been Senzatela’s strong suit, but his numbers have fallen away. Last season he struck out 15.7% of batters which is about his career average, this season, it has fallen to 6.2%.
He struggles to put batters away, and he can’t even get them to miss. Currently, he’s 11th worst in MLB with a swing and miss rate of 13.1%, falling from the 7th percentile to 2nd percentile in the league year over year.
The reason he’s allowing so few runs despite the lack of strikeouts is Senzatela walks very few batters. He’s among the best in the league, with a base on balls rate of 5.4%.
Senzatela is throwing a lot of strikes but isn’t getting many misses. He also has batters swinging at 75% of pitches in the strike zone, 13th most in MLB, making contact 92.5% of the time, sixth-most in MLB.
And that contact has been a whole lot of hard as hitters are smoking balls at an average exit velocity of 91.4 mph, ranking in the 14th percentile among MLB pitchers this season. Overall he’s in the bottom third of the league in how many balls could be classified as hit hard.
Among pitchers with at least 20 innings thrown this year, batters are hitting .388 off of Senzatela, which is the worst in MLB. More alarming is the advanced stats saying his 4.88 ERA should actually be 7.32.
Senzatela’s fastball is being feasted upon and there’s no sign of improvement, only a combination of factors suggesting Senzatela’s been moderately lucky. If he keeps hurling the way he has through six starts, the Rockies are in big trouble.