Year in Review: Antonio Bastardo – Phillies Nation
2010 Player Reviews

Year in Review: Antonio Bastardo

By: Jeff Nelson

Antonio Bastardo’s 2010 campaign had its ups and downs … literally. He spent most of his time alternating between the big show (25G, 18.2IP) and the Phillies triple-A affiliate, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (20G, 17.1IP). After missing time on the DL due to a tender left elbow, Bastardo also threw three scoreless-innings for the Clearwater Threshers in a rehab assignment in mid-July. While he did make the Phils post-season roster for a second consecutive season, Bastardo was used just once, allowing one base-runner in two opportunities.

If there’s one thing Bastardo excels at, it’s striking out hitters. Keep in mind we’re dealing with very small sample sizes when it comes to relievers, but across all three levels Bastardo K’d 59 batters in only 39 innings of work, good for an absurd 16.8 K/9. Minor league numbers aside, the 12.5 K/9 he had at the big league level was certainly well above average for a reliever and his career average of 9.6, which in turn is still well above league-average for any major league pitcher.

Along with the uptick in punch-outs, Bastardo also saw his BB/9 jump about a walk per inning from 3.4 to 4.3. Control has never been Bastardo’s biggest asset, but with his live arm and the ability to retire hitters via the strikeout, the added walks obviously aren’t welcome, but they shouldn’t hurt him as bad as they would, say Chad Durbin or J.C. Romero.

Despite sporting solid peripherals, Bastardo’s 4.34ERA was a little on the high side. If there are any fellow Baseball Prospectus-nerds out there, you’ll see his 2.90 SIERA is a better indication of what his run prevention should have been. Actually I’m surprised to see his SIERA that low considering his 34.7% groundball rate, but again, those strikeouts make up for his shortcomings.

I’m not sure why Charlie Manual didn’t use Bastardo more in 2010 as he was clearly the superior left-handed weapon out of the bullpen over J.C. Romero. Maybe it’s because Charlie’s loyalty to the players who helped win the WFC back in ’08 clouds his judgment at times? Maybe it’s because Charlie doesn’t trust younger players? Obviously in 2011 this won’t be an issue, but I’m wondering if, perhaps, Bastardo was somewhat underutilized last season when he was on the 25-man roster.

Going forward I fully expect Bastardo to be in the Phillies plans for the next several years as a reliever. And while I don’t think those high strikeout rates will remain as high as they were in 2010, he should be a cheap, effective option out of the bullpen come opening day 2011 (and of course they won’t need him on opening day with Doc on the bump).

2010 (Phillies): 2-0, 25G, 18.2IP, 19H, 9ER, 1HR, 9BB, 26SO

2010 (Minors): 1-1, 23G, 20.1IP, 15H, 4ER, 6BB, 33SO

Jeff’s Grade: 7.1/10



  1. bsg

    November 28, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Rumor, from 97.5 the fantaic phils might be close to a 3 year $55 million deal with a option for a fourth year!!!

  2. Dan

    November 28, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    I like Bastardo. I remember seeing Andre Ethier breath a sigh of relief after facing him. He has solved every level- triple A, winter ball, double A- except for the big leagues. I think he could definitely be a very good, perhaps dominant left-handed specialist and maybe even hold down the eight or ninth innings as a setup man or closer. He has taken his lumps up here but I think he is ready for a breakout season in 2011.

  3. bsg

    November 28, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    …thats a 3 year deal with werth i meant to post!

  4. Kate

    November 28, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    On Werth: I wouldn’t get my hopes up. There’s no way Scott Boras accepts less than four years for Werth and I don’t even think four years is on the table unless something major happens in the next twenty-four hours.

    On Bastardo: I did like what I saw out of him this year. Hopefully he can get the ERA down a bit in 2011. I think he can do it.


    November 28, 2010 at 1:17 pm



    November 28, 2010 at 1:18 pm


  7. Greg

    November 28, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    18 1/3 for 3 years, option for a fourth. Sounds good to me.

  8. jonnyboy

    November 28, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    sign werth AND manny!!! move werth to left.

  9. Mike

    November 28, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Bastardo is the real deal. He might wind up as a closer. I expect big things from him this year if he can stay healthy.

  10. Bart Shart

    November 28, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Bastardo will become a star. I am counting on it.

  11. Lefty

    November 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    @Kate-IMO Boras will accept whatever he has found JDUB to be worth on the market since he began shopping him. Not saying this story is right, just that if Boston offered less than 4 years, and Detroit and whoever else was a player in this thing didn’t offer more than 4- he might accept it.

  12. bsizzle

    November 28, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I love Bastardo, it would be nice if his GB rate was higher, but it’s a nitpicky point when he strikes out so many batters. I think he’ll be fantastic if he can stay healthy, but that’s always been the catch.

  13. Kate

    November 28, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    @Lefty: I guess it really depends on all the outside factors now. Amaro and company have made their offer, now it’s just wait and see time. Do you think Amaro would go for the full four years (rather than option year four) if it was the only option? Like, say, Boston offers him the same deal, only for four years rather than three? Would the front office tweak their offer to see if Werth and Boras bite?

    I’d take Werth back over Manny in a heartbeat.

    I like Bastardo. Hope he gets more playing time next year.

  14. Chuck

    November 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    WHAT exactly are the sources of this rumor?? 97.5 is credible but where did it originate??

    IF it’s true….I will supply Jayson with the most expensive pen in the world to sign the thing!!

  15. Lefty

    November 28, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Kate – Yes I think they would. They wouldn’t make it their initial offer or they would have to go more years to settle.

    4 years at 73m is completely reasonable IMO, but it’s not my money.

    If Boras plays hardball and asks for the fifth year option, I’d do that too if they’d allow us a 500,000 buyout. Will they? I guess we’ll know soon.

  16. Chuck

    November 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    I don’t think there’s any way at all that this deal gets done unless it’s a guaranteed 4 years.

    If there’s an offer on the table for 3/55, you know Boras will counter.

    4/70 ….with an option/buyout….and let’s wave the white flag and move on.

  17. bacardipr05

    November 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Bastardo has good stuff just hast quite figured out MLB hitters hit. He needs to work on his control a little sometime too much up the middle with the hitters. Which he may get away with in the lower levels. I think he has the potential to become an excellent pitcher. He needs to get some work the DL stint certainly didnt help. I dont think Charlie or Raj trust younger players much.

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