SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Miguel Batista, at 42, took a few minutes out from his bid to make the Rockies as a non-roster invitee to do some teaching Tuesday afternoon.
Batista had two outs against the D-backs in the sixth inning when he walked Kila Ka'aihue and had to face Rod Barajas. Batista made it a point to summon second-year catcher Wilin Rosario to the mound for a quick strategy lesson before facing Barajas.
"You call the pitch regardless of the situation, which is something I was talking to Rosario about," Batista said. "Regardless of the situation, we pitch to win. Look at the scoreboard. This guy is hitting .224. He looked at me. I told him, 'When a guy is hitting .224, do you want to get beat with your third or fourth pitch? No. You challenge the guy.'"
But aren't these games that don't count in the official standings? Isn't this a time to work on pitches?
Batista said you have to pick your spots for experimentation.
"You need to work on the main thing, that's winning, but you learn from your older players that if you are going to work on stuff, you work against a guy where it's not going to cost you too much," Batista said. "If it's one of those small guys, you say, 'Let me see if I can command this pitch.'
"Like, you don't want to work on your fourth pitch with guys like Miguel Cabrera. That's going to be a 500-foot mistake. See what I mean?"
Batista retired Barajas and wound up with the decision in the Rockies' 4-3 victory.
"He's been doing that since the beginning of camp. He's got a lot to offer," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He still throws hard, cuts the ball, still blowing up bats."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.