Senzatela tabbed as top NL rookie for April

Senzatela tabbed as top NL rookie for April

Is it time to reconsider Coors Field as the ultimate house of horrors for pitchers? Probably not, but first-year Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela has already shown that playing half your games in the mile-high air doesn't have to be all bad, either. 

Senzatela, a right-handed fireballer who won a rotation spot in Spring Training, was named the National League Rookie of the Month for April. Joining him on the virtual podium was teammate Greg Holland, who was named the NL's top reliever for the month.

Senzatela went 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA that led all rookies and ranked 11th overall in the NL during his first month in the big leagues. That included a 2-1 mark and a 3.15 ERA in three home starts.

Senzatela earns first MLB win

The 22-year-old Venezuelan, who pitches with a confidence that manager Bud Black admires, became more comfortable with offspeed pitches to mix with a four-seamer that averages 93.9 mph and has hit 97. Among starters, Senzatela has thrown 54.9 of his pitches in the strike zone -- the fourth-highest rate in the big leagues.

"This young man, when he plays and competes, he does so with a great deal of passion," Black said before Senzatela's most recent outing, "and even though you might not see it outwardly, a great deal of emotion. What we like about him as a competitor is that he's extremely focused, has a big heart and just really likes to play."

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.