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 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.
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.