SCOTTSDALE, Arizona —— Above, watch Colorado Rockies left-handed pitcher Jerry Vasto face his teammate, Rockies catching prospect Steven Leonard in a spring training intrasquad scrimmage at the Rockies’ facility at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
Leonard gives Vasto a pretty tough at-bat here, fouling off multiple two strike pitches with—in a controlled intrasquad scrimmage setting on the spring backfields—two outs and the game-tying run on third base. Vasto does himself no real favors here, either, going down 3-1 early in the count after being unable to consistently locate his fastball. But true to form, the left-handed pitcher fights back in the most Vasto way: filling up the strike zone, re-doubling his efforts to come after hitters, and challenging with his best stuff.
Vasto can miss bats, too, both with this fastball and slider. And while his fastball, which sits anywhere from 90-94 mph, probably isn’t a long-term wipeout type of pitch in the high minors or big leagues, it moves well and has enough life to where the New Jersey native can survive. Furthermore, smart use of his slider (he throws it once in this at-bat sequence) allows Vasto to play up the fastball velocity some and make it seem a bit harder than it maybe truly is in reality.
Regardless, here’s a good look at a late-inning reliever bearing down on an opponent with the tying run on third base; it’s these types of situations you have to work on again and again and again on the backfields if you’re hoping to reach the big leagues…