Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela, who turned the corner in 2020, expects better in 2021

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — By many measures, Antonio Senzatela was Colorado’s best starting pitcher in 2020. And the Rockies, whose strength is their rotation, expect more of the same in 2021.

“Next for me is to maintain what I did last year,” Senzatela said. “I’m getting better with my pitches. I’m getting more (confident). I’m getting deeper into games. I’ve put my mind to this year. I’ve got to throw a lot of innings, help my team to win, keep my body (healthy), keep working hard.”

As manager Bud Black said, Senzatela, 26, “turned the corner” last season, rebounding from an ugly 2019 when he posted a 6.71 ERA across 124 2/3 innings.

Senzatela’s 2020 measurables: 3.44 ERA, 1.214 WHIP, 2.2 walks per nine innings and a 153 ERA+. All of those statistics were club bests.

And, oh yes, he pitched Colorado’s only complete game — a six-hit, 109-pitch beauty in a 3-1 win over Oakland on Sept. 15 at Coors Field. Senzatela struck out three and walked just one. He also induced 15 outs via groundballs. That wasn’t a big shock. Since his debut in 2017, Senzatela’s 50.5 ground-ball percentage ranks third in the National League (minimum 400 innings pitched).

Rockies first baseman Josh Fuentes said Senzatela had A’s batters off-balance in almost every at-bat on that Tuesday night at Coors.

“I don’t want to say he had them rattled, but it seemed like they were very uncomfortable in the box,” Fuentes…

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