Image Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Key 2013 Stats: 48 games, 3-2 W-L, 2.32 ERA, 2 saves, 47 K, 21 BB
What happened in 2013:
Bastardo was having a solid year as a setup man. He wasn’t as dominant as he had been in his breakthrough 2011 season, but in a bullpen full of pitchers ranging from mediocre to poor, Bastardo was one of Charlie Manuel‘s more reliable options.
His season came to a premature end in early August when he was suspended 50 games for PED usage as part of the Biogenesis scandal. Phillies fans might not be that enamored of Bastardo, but his absence likely made them appreciate him a bit more. He may have his issues, but he’s certainly a better option than the likes of Zach Miner and Cesar Jimenez.
What to Expect in 2014:
Bastardo will return in 2014, and his suspension could be viewed as both a positive and a negative for the Phillies. He is eligible for arbitration, and this will assuredly lower his price tag. On the other hand, it raises questions as to how much of his success was owed to the PEDs.
Assuming that he wasn’t merely the product of chemical enhancement, it would be nice if Bastardo could become more consistent. He’ll have outings where he’ll set down the side with ease, yet in other appearances, he looks like he’s terrified to throw a strike. It can be downright cringe-worthy when he starts nibbling at the strike zone.
It’s hard to know exactly what to expect from Bastardo in 2014. He’ll get a chance to prove that he can once again be a solid late-inning option, but if he truly owed his success to the PEDs, then he might turn out to be nothing more than a middling reliever.