The Phillies' bullpen just got a little thinner and their sickening season just became a lot more nauseating.
According to multiple tweets from national baseball writers, Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo is one of the players who has accepted a 50-game suspension as part of the Biogenesis investigation conducted by Major League Baseball.
Essentially, the 50-game suspension ends Bastardo's 2013 season, which had actually pretty good one for the 27-year-old reliever from the Dominican Republic. The Phillies have just 51 games remaining.
The Phillies released a statement from team president David Montgomery about Bastardo's suspension.
“Obviously, the Phillies are very disappointed to learn of Antonio Bastardo’s violation of Major League Baseball’s Drug Program," the statement read. "We strongly believe in the program and look forward to a time when performance enhancing drugs are completely out of baseball. Hopefully the sanctions announced today will bring us closer to that day. We respect the fact that Antonio has acknowledged his serious mistake and accepted his 50-game suspension.”
Bastardo has not made a public statement and his agent Jamie Appel did not immediately return a phone call. A team spokesman said Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was unavailable for comment.
The most biting statement about Bastardo came from Dan Meyer on his Twitter account. The former big-league pitcher from Kingsway High School in South Jersey tweeted, "Hey Antonio Bastardo, remember when we competed for a job in 2011. Thx alot. #ahole."
Meyer left the Phillies' organization after being cut in spring training and pitched in 14 games for Pittsburgh's triple-A Indianapolis team that season. He pitched last year for the independent Long Island Ducks and is now out of baseball.
Bastardo, in his fifth season with the Phillies, was 3-2 with two saves and a 2.32 ERA for a bullpen that has a league-worst 4.29 ERA.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX was the first to report Bastardo's suspension. Other players suspended for 50 games according to reports are Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, Everth Cabrera, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero, Cesar Puello, Faution De Los Santos, Fernando Martinez. Jordany Valdespin and former Phillies pitcher Sergio Escalona.