2013 Phillies Report Card: Antonio Bastardo

Antonio Bastardo was really good this year. Once you factor out virtual nonentities like Mauricio Robles and John McDonald, Tony No-Dad led the team in ERA+ and K%. He’s been outstanding ever since his move to the bullpen, a few injury-addled months late in 2011 and early in 2012 notwithstanding. He also got dinged for drugs in this Biogenesis ordeal, which is (for me) less an indictment of his personal and professional reputation than it was a way to keep miles off an arm that’s been shown to be prone to fatigue. Again, Tony No-Dad proved to be a powerful argument for stocking your bullpen with young guys who throw hard instead of spending big money on “proven” relievers, namely Mike Adams and Jonathan Papelbon. As Tony No-Dad chugged along, Adams was hurt and Papelbon suffered a downtick in fastball velocity brought on either by age or the energy vacuum he creates between pitches, an interminable wait capable of snuffing out the nuclear fusion in a star.

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