Mets’ Mike Vasil Gets Back In Rhythm In Arizona Fall League

Righthander Mike Vasil was assigned to the Arizona Fall League largely to build up innings after a stay on the injured list with irritated bone spurs in his elbow cost him much of the summer.

But along the way he found results.

Over his initial six appearances in the AFL, the 22-year-old Boston native pitched to a 2.93 ERA with 10 hits allowed and nine walks and 18 strikeouts over 15.1 innings.

“I think he is now starting to get the confidence,” Mets farm director Kevin Howard said. “He needed to go out there and trust his stuff, not get so focused on making perfect pitches, but understanding how nasty is stuff is and filling up the zone and making it tough on hitters when he goes right after them.”

An eighth-round selection out of Virginia in 2021, the 6-foot-5 Vasil began this season at Low-A St. Lucie and was promoted to High-A Brooklyn on May 29. He made six starts before landing on the IL on July 1.

He returned to pitch twice for Brooklyn and finished the season with a 3.53 ERA in 18 appearances overall. Vasil had 85 strikeouts and 26 walks in 71.1 innings.

“It was hard for him to stay in a groove, but his stuff was good all year,” Howard said. “His performance at the beginning of the year was real good. He earned a promotion and went to High-A and that is when he got hurt.

“When he came back, the season was kind of winding down. He didn’t really get into a rhythm.”

Vasil’s fastball averages 95-96 mph and he throws a sharp curveball as a complement. His arsenal includes a changeup and he’s working toward improving his slider, according to Howard.

“Just getting (his changeup) in the zone and getting it down in the zone to play off his high fastball,” Howard said were keys. “It has got that fading action and his command with that pitch is really good.

“That four-pitch mix, all stemming from him throwing that fastball at the top of the zone, sets up all the other pitches.”

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