Tag:Antonio Bastardo
Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:38 pm

No Beltran, no Pence, but Phils want relievers

Yes, the Phillies made an effort for Carlos Beltran, before backing down and allowing him to go to the Giants. Yes, the Phillies talked to the Astros about Hunter Pence, although it appears now that nothing will happen, and the Astros will look to deal Pence in the winter, instead.

And as usual, the Phillies' biggest acquisition this month might well be a pitcher.

The Phillies remain among the teams most interested in Padres relievers Heath Bell and Mike Adams, although like others they continue to complain about the high prices. The Phils have looked at the Orioles and other teams, as well, in hopes of finding bullpen help.

I know, the Phillies bullpen has been among the most successful in the game this year. Their three blown saves are the fewest in the majors, and only one of the three came in the ninth inning. And after playing much of the year with three closers (Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras) on the disabled list, the Phillies now have Madson and Lidge back on the active roster.

Fine. But fast-forward to October, because the Phillies are all about October.

Do you feel comfortable with Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo pitching late in games in the playoffs? Are you sure about Madson as your playoff closer? Will Lidge be healthy and strong enough to help?

People who talk to the Phillies say they're asking all of those questions themselves, and that the answer can be seen in their efforts on the trade market.

The Phillies will likely still look to acquire a right-handed hitter, but it may well be more of a platoon bat off the bench. That could change, obviously, depending on who is available, and it would be interesting to see if the Phillies went after Carlos Quentin, if the White Sox really make him available.

The Phillies didn't get Beltran, and they almost certainly won't get Pence. Don't be surprised if they end up with a reliever.
Posted on: July 22, 2011 8:49 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 8:58 pm

No closers were no problem for Phils

For a while, the Phillies had three closers on the disabled list. Now, with Brad Lidge back, they have three closers on the active roster.

That's Lidge, who went into the year as the closer; Ryan Madson, who eventually took over as the closer; and Antonio Bastardo, who filled in when everyone else was hurt. Jose Contreras, the other closer, remains on the DL.

But here's what's amazing: With all of that, the Phillies have had just one ninth-inning blown save this season (by Madson, on June 9 against the Cubs). The Phillies have just three blown saves total, the fewest in baseball.

Compare that to the Cardinals, who have nine ninth-inning blown saves. Or compare it to the White Sox and Blue Jays, with seven apiece.

The only teams that have yet to have a ninth-inning blown save this year are the Tigers, Red Sox and Pirates. And there should be an asterisk next to the Red Sox, because closer Jonathan Papelbon blew a four-run ninth-inning lead on June 4 against the A's but wasn't charged with a blown save because it wasn't a save situation.

Posted on: June 28, 2011 12:29 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 8:12 pm

Phils put Madson on DL

The Phillies weren't sure Ryan Madson could close.

They wanted Brad Lidge to pitch the ninth inning. Then Lidge got hurt, and they chose Jose Contreras over Madson.

Then Contreras got hurt, and Madson showed he could handle it.

Now Madson is hurt.

The Phillies put Madson on the disabled list Tuesday with a right hand contusion, which means their DL now includes three closers -- and their active roster includes none.

Andrew Carpenter was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Madson's place on the roster.

Madson hasn't pitched since June 18, but the Phillies haven't had a ninth-inning save opportunity since June 12 (when Madson recorded his 15th save in 16 chances this year). Of the pitchers on the Phillies' active roster, only Antonio Bastardo has a save this year (he has two).

Manager Charlie Manuel told reporters that he would use either Bastardo or Michael Stutes to close, but that Bastardo would likely get more of the chances. Manuel also told reporters that Madson may return from the DL as soon as next Monday.
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