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2014 Phillies Player Preview: Antonio Bastardo

I will go through this entire preview without making a butt joke.

Drew Hallowell

2013 Stats: 48 G,3 W, 2 L, 2 SV, 42.2 IP, 9.91 K/9, 4.43 BB/9, 0.42 HR/9, .287 BABIP, 31.4 GB%, 2.32 ERA, 3.00 FIP, 0.6 WAR

2014 Projections:

Steamer: 55 G,4 W, 2 L, 1 SV, 55 IP, 10.17 K/9, 3.64 K/BB, 1.16 HR/9, .275 BABIP, 3.21 ERA, 3.76 FIP, 0.1 WAR

Oliver:63 G, 3 W, 3 L, 10.92 K/9, 4.24 K/BB, 0.82 HR/9, .289 BABIP, 3.42 ERA, 3.32 FIP, 0.4 WAR

Fangraphs page

Baseball Reference page

After being one of the Phillies more reliable relievers last season, Bastardo was hit with a 50 game suspension by Major League Baseball for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED Scandal late in the season. This came as a surprise to Phillies fans, as Antonio was never part of the "leaked" names that were involved in the case. If you look at the positives on his season, he saw a dramatic decrease in his HR/9 from 2012 (1.21) to 2013 (0.42) as well as inducing more ground balls. The strikeout numbers took a bit of a hit last season, but he was after striking guys out at a crazy-stupid rate (14.02 K/9) in 2012.

All projections have Bastardo normalizing back to his career to date averages across the board. The Phillies are going to rely HEAVILY on him to provide some stability to the bullpen which is likely going to consist of guys like Rosenberg, De Fratus, Diekman and (at some point) Mike Adams. I realize there was some speculation that the Phillies would cut ties with Bastardo after the Biogenesis scandal, but obviously cooler heads prevailed and the organization made the right choice in keeping him. I'm one of the thought that if the Phillies would ever be able to deal Papelbon, that Bastardo would fill in just as well in the closer role until someone better than him could be brought in.

So that leaves us with this; how much of Antonio's career has been aided by PED and has attributed to his success? Sample size and quality be damned, but he is doing fairly well in Spring Training thus far (7IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 10 K).