There are people in Ruben Amaro’s ledger who have been marked by a red ‘X.’
Through various avenues, they have left our fair city. Trades, free agency, outright release, shadow conspiracies, mysterious disappearances, normal disappearances, puffs of smoke, large birds of prey, noxious gas, doppelgangers carrying memory loss serum disguised as family relatives; no matter what the method, if they’ve been marked, Ruben has sent them packing.
Brett Myers had his day. Raul Ibanez accepted his fate. Why, this very year, Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence both awoke with red slashes on their bedroom mirrors.
The time has come, apparently, to announce somewhat publicly who will still be here come 2013. Ruben has been generous enough in telling us that Charlie Manuel will most likely make the cut. Now, he is beginning to move on the players.
The first to breathe a sigh of relief will be Antonio Bastardo.
“I think [Bastardo is] part of our club. Obviously he’s going to have to continue to prove himself, but I believe he’s going to be part of our club.”
Theories on Jake Diekman or Jeremy Horst ruining Bastardo’s monopoly on southpaw duties in the Phillies pen seem to be untrue, though perhaps his position as the sole left-hander could be in jeopardy. But that’s not really a … bad thing.
The point is, Ruben has uttered another name, giving Bastardo, at the very least, the illusion of safety.