25-year-old Gilbreath, a Colorado native, anticipates his big league debut
After 4 2⁄3 innings of work on Tuesday, Antonio Senzatela has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to a right groin strain. The injury comes just weeks after a hamstring strain in spring training.
Senzatela has made six starts on the year, posting a 5.76 ERA that is currently the second-worst figure of his career. His work comes on the heels of a 2020 season in which he led the Rockies in bWAR; his 4.38 xFIP suggests he is pitching better than his ERA figure, but his momentum has slowed after allowing seven earned runs in his last 9 2⁄3 innings.
In a subsequent move, the Rockies have recalled left-hander Lucas Gilbreath from the alternate site at Salt River Fields. Gilbreath has yet to pitch above High-A Lancaster but made 10 appearances in the Cactus League this spring. The Legacy High School alum (Broomfield, Colo.) pitched three seasons at the University of Minnesota and was drafted in the seventh round in the 2017 draft.
Gilbreath has made 66 appearances in the minor leagues (59 starts). All of his 28 outings in 2019 were spent as a starter in High-A, but he was shut out of a 2020 season and pitched exclusively as a short reliever in spring training (10 appearances, 9 1⁄3 IP).
In the wake of Senzatela’s injury, the Rockies may consider moving Jhoulys Chacín (9 IP, 6.00 ERA) from long relief to the starting rotation—but if Gilbreath’s minor league experience is any indicator, he could soon earn some starts with the big league club.
The Rockies also await the return of Kyle Freeland to the starting rotation. He was optimistic after a bullpen session on Tuesday: “I feel great, first and foremost.”