Senzatela, Marquez gain valuable experience

Rockies pitching prospects go two innings each in loss to Dodgers

Senzatela, Marquez gain valuable experience

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Right-handed, 21-year-old starting pitching prospects Antonio Senzatela and German Marquez excelled Sunday during scoreless, two-inning stints in their Spring Training debuts during the Rockies' 6-4 loss to the Dodgers.

Senzatela, who struck out 143 at Class A Advanced Modesto last year to earn a spot on the 40-man Major League roster, topped out at 98 mph on his fastball and struck out four against one hit.

"He's got a good angle to the fastball, good command, and it was firm," manager Walt Weiss said. "It's power stuff with 'plus' [above-average] command."

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Marquez, obtained along with reliever Jake McGee from the Rays for outfielder Corey Dickerson, sat 93-95 with his fastball and struck out three, against two hits.

"Easy velocity -- there's not much effort," Weiss said. "He' got the good breaking ball. He's a good-looking kid."

Before Monday, both had seen action in a B game against the D-backs, to positive reviews. Senzatela is rated 12th and Marquez 14th in the Rockies Top 30 Prospects.

Worth noting

Butler hopes to continue his growth: Righty Eddie Butler, scheduled to throw three innings Monday against the Mariners, hopes to continue the calm he displayed in his last outing, when he held the Giants scoreless on two hits and a walk with one strikeout in three innings. Thus far, Butler has reversed the unraveling that marred last year, when he went 3-10 with a 5.90 ERA in 16 Major League starts.

Talks with Rockies pitching coaches and his coach growing up in Chesapeake, Va., former Major League pitcher Gary Lavelle, taught Butler to deal with adversity.

"I needed to grow up last year and figure out how to deal with defeat," said Butler, who turned 25 Sunday. "Over the offseason, I figured out how to turn it into a positive. And I will know how to deal with that during an inning or during an outing. I'm not going to get down on myself."

'CarGo' experiment: As planned going into Spring Training, Weiss has outfield standout Carlos Gonzalez learning first base in a practice setting, just in case some circumstance forces him to play it in a game this season, and for Gonzalez's future. The Rockies conduct a "win the inning" drill, where players are given a situation and have to make the right plays.

Clark visit: MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark, who visited the Rockies on Sunday on his team-by-team update tour, said the union and MLB are working through the joint domestic-abuse policy that went into effect last season. The Rockies have a pending situation, with shortstop Jose Reyes dealing with an April 4 scheduled trial on a charge in Hawaii. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has said he will hold off on a decision, which could include a suspension, with the case still in the legal system.

The policy is set so that Manfred can come to a decision, which the player can appeal, in a quick period of time. However, the Reyes case has shown that expediting a decision isn't always possible, since MLB and the union don't always have access to facts gathered by law enforcement, and a league decision could affect a possible trial.

"What we are learning is simply what we thought we knew to begin with, that it simply isn't that simple," Clark said. "There are a lot of different moving pieces involved in any situation that, in order to be diligent and respectful of the process, you have to pay attention to. As much as you'd like to be able to put a bow on something in a short period of time, it may not work that way."

Injury updates: On Sunday, the Rockies ordered MRIs on infielder Daniel Descalso (left hand contusion), who was hit by a pitch on Friday, and left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson (right oblique strain), who was scratched for a scheduled start Saturday. … Lefty Chris Rusin, who has yet to appear in a Cactus League game because of left middle finger inflammation, will face hitters at the Rockies' complex Monday. … Righty David Hale, out with a right hamstring strain, never stopped throwing. He is also doing running and fielding drills and hopes to enter game competition soon.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.