Friday, September 4, 2015

Bastardo makes 13 (pitchers)

Antonio Bastardo is back with the Phillies and the way Charlie Manuel made it sound, the lefthander could be here for longer than just the three-game set against the Dodgers that begins Tuesday.

Bastardo makes 13 (pitchers)

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The Phillies have called up lefty reliever Antonio Bastardo from triple-A Lehigh Valley. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
The Phillies have called up lefty reliever Antonio Bastardo from triple-A Lehigh Valley. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

Antonio Bastardo is back with the Phillies and the way Charlie Manuel made it sound, the lefthander could be here for longer than just the three-game set against the Dodgers that begins Tuesday.

"We thought we needed a lefty," Manuel said, "not only for the Dodgers but for everybody else."

Outfielder John Mayberry Jr. was optioned to triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday. Bastardo was officially recalled Tuesday. Bastardo has appeared in 16 games with the Phillies this season and has a 5.11 ERA.

It marks the first time all season the Phillies are carrying 13 pitchers, a rare occurrence under Manuel. But Mayberry, the 25th man on the roster, was hardly playing and the Phillies saw the need for the extra pitcher. For now.

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Phillies bring back Bastardo

Los Angeles has four lefthanded batters in its lineup Tuesday and with J.C. Romero struggling as the lone lefty in the Phillies' bullpen, Bastardo could be used in key situations.

Since going to triple-A after a stint on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation, Bastardo pitched 10 scoreless innings for the IronPigs. He had 13 strikeouts and no walks.

"Our reports say he's been throwing good," Manuel said. "He's been throwing strikes and a little more consistent with throwing strikes."

While at triple-A Lehigh Valley, Bastardo held lefties to an .080 (2 for 25) batting average.

Did Romero's struggles factor into the decision?

"No, not really," Manuel said.

Manuel shied away from using Bastardo in many tight spots earlier this season. That could change now.

"With experience we'll find out exactly what kind of pitcher he is," Manuel said. "The fact that he does have talent is one reason why he's here. From what I've seen, he has to be more consistent."

By adding Bastardo, the Phillies will go with a four-man bench. On Tuesday, that bench consists of two lefthanded batters (Brian Schneider, Greg Dobbs) and two righties (Mike Sweeney, Ben Francisco).

"Of course, you're better with five," Manuel said. "But we have four and we'll make due with it."

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