SCOTTSDALE, Arizona —— Above, watch Colorado Rockies left-handed pitcher Jerry Vasto face his teammate, young Rockies catching prospect Hamlet Marte, in a 2016 spring training at-bat during an intrasquad scrimmage at the Rockies’ incredible Salt River Fields at Talking Stick spring training complex.
There is little question what Vasto is trying to do here, and it happens probably even easier than he might have thought it at the time; after getting ahead with a fastball in for strike one, he challenges Marte again with another fastball. That’s hit for a foul ball, and from here, Vasto is up 0-2 immediately.
Now, typically, Vasto’s trends dictate that he’d work off to his slider at this point—even against an opposite-handed hitter, if he could bury it on Marte’s back foot. But Vasto doesn’t do that, instead opting to throw a fastball right on the outside corner of the plate. Marte doesn’t expect it, takes it, and gets called out on strike three on a pitch that even looks to be moving slightly away (running arm-side) as it’s being caught by catcher Robbie Perkins.
In all, it’s a pretty impressive at-bat for the pitcher Jerry Vasto, and a pretty indicative point of just how he gets his work done: the lefty is a no-nonsense type who isn’t afraid to come right after anyone and challenge hitters to get outs. His stuff plays up in the bullpen, and while he’s not a likely closer at the big league level, having those experiences now in the minor leagues ought to prepare him well for a left-handed situational role at Coors Field in 2018.