Slip Sliding Away

Antonio Bastardo is not having his best season.

The hope for the 27-year-old coming into the 2013 season was that he would continue to be the mostly-shutdown lefty who could be counted upon, coming into games to handle the likes of Jason Heyward or Bryce Harper (and keep righties muted, too). Instead, Bastardo’s strikeouts are down, his walks are up and he’s permitting a .374 OBP against entering Friday.

So, um, what the heck? What happened to the guy whose stuff was so nasty he permitted just 68 hits in 110 IP from 2011-12?

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Phillies Continue to Confuse with Closer Claim

When asked about the possibility of trading closer Jonathan Papelbon, GM Ruben Amaro said this:

Amaro was just as adamant that it was illogical for the Phillies to consider trading Papelbon. The 32-year-old closer is in the second year of a four-year, $50 million contract that also contains a vesting option for 2016.

“People would like us to improve our club, but at what cost?” Amaro said. “You have to have replacement pieces if you’re going to trade someone like that. And we don’t have a guy who I consider a closer on our club, other than Papelbon. He’s the best we’ve got, and one of the best in baseball, if not the best.

“I believe you have to have a closer to win and have success, and I believe in having a (true) closer,” Amaro added. “Not a closer by committee. A guy who stops the game when you’re supposed to win late. We don’t have a replacement to do that. … And I don’t see any closer on the market who would be anywhere near as good as Papelbon. I just don’t see it. So if you want to win, why would we want to trade a guy like that?”

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Carlos Zambrano Isn’t Coming

Pedro Martinez trotted out of the Coca-Cola Park bullpen in a lily white #45 IronPigs jersey through humid, post-downpour, Lehigh Valley air as 10,000 people baked in a surly July sun that seemed eager to make up for the time it had lost behind the clouds that day. He took the mound as I took to my pen. Martinez wound and fired as I craned my neck to see the radar gun three rows down from the seat I was wrongfully occupying. Eighty-six miles per hour. Already uneasy as I searched my brain for a creative excuse that would allow me to remain in the scouting section whenever Fashionably Late Season Ticket Holder came to boot me out of my current seat, seeing a 40 grade fastball spew from the arm of a God sent me into a full on sweat. Michael Brantley homered a few pitches later. The scouts did not write. Continue reading…

Crash Bag, Vol. 58: Full-On Wolf Parade Mode

I want to start this week’s Crash Bag off with a pouring out of wine for LB Dantzler, who we’ve likely seen play his last game on national television. South Carolina lost to the Dirty Foots of Chapel Hill last weekend, which means that we’ve likely seen the last of Dantzler, who was drafted by the Blue Jays but, because of his size, lack of defensive ability and swing, is not particularly closer to being a major league prospect than you or I.

So here’s to the last “Hold Me Closer, LB Dantzler.” On to your questions.

@hdrubin: “Doing a Top 5 thing like High Fidelity. Who are your Top 5 Phillies bloggers and Top 5 Tweeters?”

I love High Fidelity. Fun movie, better book. I also encourage the making of Top Five lists. It keeps the mind active and is a great way to kill time on road trips, as is the Rock and Roll Supergroup Fantasy Draft.

(counts names on Crashburn masthead) (twiddles thumbs)

  • Bill Baer
  • Ryan Sommers
  • Paul Boye
  • Eric Longenhagen
  • Michael Baumann

Yes, I think we can move on. Continue reading…