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MLB Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies: Antonio Bastardo Must Be Relieved

Philadelphia Phillies Antonio Bastardo

Howard Smith–USA TODAY Sports

Like many professional pitchers throughout all of human history (okay, baseball history), Antonio Bastardo has a good arm. The problem with this Philadelphia Phillies‘ mound man, like so many who have come before him, is that he hasn’t been consistent for most of his career.

Sure, ‘AB’ (my invented nickname) looked like he had a promising left arm when he arrived in Philadelphia during the 2009 season. Heck, some even thought that he might have closer written aside of his name at some point in the post-Brad Lidge era. I was one of those ‘some’, by the way.

Other than one solid season in 2011, this 27-year-old lefty has created a rather mediocre career. Considering the team’s lingering eighth inning issue, Charlie Manuel needed a few of his young hurlers to mature this year. None of them have.

Because of Mike Adams‘ health issues, Bastardo has once again been asked to handle extra duties this season. His current 1.588 WHIP is noticeably higher than last year’s 1.269 mark, which was also too high.

Obviously, a reliever can’t afford to allow too many hits, or too many walks, in any one inning. But, that’s exactly what happens when a pitcher lacks control.

Due to the dominant nature of his left hand, Bastardo will likely hold a major league job well into the next decade. As to how long Ruben Amaro, Jr.  continues to employ him is worthy of consideration.

Young, healthy pitchers with good arms have been valued since the game first began. So, no one should be surprised if ‘AB’ were to be relieved of his Philadelphia pitching duties at some point.

Follow Sean on Twitter @SeanyOB, Facebook, Google+ and read his blog Insight.