Talk about getting upstaged.
Antonio Bastardo was traded to the Pirates on Wednesday at the Winter Meetings in San Diego in exchange for minor league starter Joely Rodriguez.
Bastardo was certainly a frustrating pitcher to watch at times as a Phillie, with a career walk rate of 4.34 batters per nine. But he was also a strikeout machine, with an11.39 K/9 last year. And over his 259 career innings, he struck out 11.26 batters per nine.
Last year, he went 5-7 with a 3.94 ERA and a FIP of 3.10 for the Phils, and after making $2 million with the Phillies last year was set to make about $3 million in 2015. It's not a lot of money for an effective left-handed reliever, but the Phils already have cheaper and equally effective left-handed options in Mario Hollands and Jake Diekman.
In return the Phils receive Rodriguez, who last year in 30 games (21 starts) at Double-A went 6-11 with a 4.84 ERA in 134 innings. He gave up a lot of base hits, 10.1 per nine innings, but showed good control in walking just 2.9 batters per nine. However, wasn't a strikeout guy last season, whiffing just 4.9 batters per nine in Double-A. That is a number that is typical throughout his minor league career.
However, MLB.com ranked him as the Phillies' 19th-best prospect, and as MiLB's Kelsie Heneghan writes, Rodriguez had a tough transition last season but seems to be picking it up now in the off-season.
After a smooth transition from Class A to Class A Advanced in 2013, Rodriguez found the adjustment to Double-A a little harder. The 23-year-old hurler went 6-11 with a 4.84 ERA and just 73 strikeouts over 134 innings with Altoona.
Rodriguez's first offseason stop was in the Arizona Fall League, where he tied for the circuit lead with three wins over seven starts. He also improved his strikeout rate with 22 punchouts while issuing just six free passes over 22 2/3 frames en route to being named to the AFL Top Prospects Team.
The Dominican Republic native then headed home for Winter League action, where he sported a 1.38 ERA in his first three outings.
"He wasn't the same guy in Spring Training, then had some early challenges in Double-A, but then continued to get better and better," Pirates GM Neal Huntington said.
Ruben Amaro said Rodriguez will start the season in Triple-A for Lehigh Valley, hopefully giving the Phils some starting pitching depth right away.
On "Jimmy Rollins Getaway Day," Antonio Bastardo leaves under the radar.
He didn't even get a goodbye.