GLENDALE, Ariz. — Antonio Senzatela’s second start of spring training on Saturday was far from perfect, as the right-hander yielded two runs on five hits and a walk across two innings.
But the raw 24-year-old who’s competing for a back-end rotation spot has been encouraged by his progress this camp nonetheless, noting his offspeed pitches have him primed to build off last season’s 4.38 ERA in 23 games (13 starts) for Colorado.
“I’m happy because my arm feels good, my fastball command is there, and my slider and changeup are working really nice right now,” Senzatela said. “I’ve been working a lot on (offspeed) during side sessions, and in the throwing program too.”
Saturday at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, the trouble Senzatela got into could’ve been a lot worse had it not been for his slider and changeup, two specific pitches that manager Bud Black noted a couple weeks ago have “to become more consistent. You can’t have one good, one bad. You can’t pitch like that in the big leagues.”
An effective slider got the right-hander to induce a weak groundout from White Sox catcher James McCann and a 1-2-3 double play to end the threat in the first inning. Then, Senzatela used a changeup to force a 5-3-1 groundout by Luis Gonzalez in the second.
Senzatela’s main competition for the fifth rotation spot consists of right-handers Chad Bettis and Jeff Hoffman.