Phillies Player Review 2011: Antonio Bastardo

Posted by Michael Baumann, Tue, October 25, 2011 08:30 AM | Comments: 9
2011 Player Review, Posts

There are a bunch of reasons to love Antonio Bastardo, from his bubble butt to his funny delivery to the incredible amount of joy I got from calling him “Tony No-Dad” all year. But the 26-year-old lefty, who was a middling starter prospect back in 2009 (which seems like ancient history), was quite possibly the most electrifying Phillies reliever ever, out of nowhere putting together a season that can only be described as fantastic in both meanings: excellent and resembling something from the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Over the whole of 2011, Bastardo went 6-1 with a 2.64 ERA and a 0.931 WHIP in 58 innings spread over 64 appearances, but that’s including a September that, due to fatigue or some undisclosed injury, was more latter-day Dennis Cook than latter-day Dennis Eckersley. Take out September and Tony No-Dad compiled an opponent slash line of .114/.204/.223. Over the course of the full season, Bastardo’s fastball was worth eight runs above average and his slider was worth 7.1 runs above average, good, between them, for a K/9 ratio that, in the finest tradition of Nigel Tufnel, nearly went all the way to eleven.

Bastardo was effective against lefties and righties and, despite being the team’s fourth-choice closer after injuries sidelined Brad Lidge, Jose Contreras, and Ryan Madson in order, filled in admirably in that role, saving eight games from nine chances and recording 32 FanGraphs shutdowns against only eight meltdowns. The only NL relievers with a higher net WPA than Bastardo were Tyler Clippard, John Axford, Jonny Venters, J.J. Putz, and Eric O’Flaherty. Bastardo’s final opponent OPS was the fifth-lowest for a Phillies reliever since integration.

Due respect to the voters who said that Ryan Madson should be re-signed over Jimmy Rollins, but not only will Madson cost more money than he’s worth, we should not be afraid if he walks away this offseason, because Tony No-Dad can fill in as the Phillies’ relief ace and, if his 2011 season is any indication, the Phillies won’t miss a beat.

Grade: 9.8/10 That awful last month cast a pallor over what was otherwise an unbelievable season, and made Bastardo’s 2011 outstanding, rather than historic. Still, the Dominican with the funny name and the prominent posterior went from middle reliever to folk hero this summer and deserves all the praise we can heap on him.

Avatar of Michael Baumann

About Michael Baumann

Michael Baumann has written 229 articles on Phillies Nation.

Michael is a graduate student at Temple University who lost his childlike innocence when, at the age of 6, his dad let him stay up for the end of Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. Unsettled by the Phillies' recent success, he has threatened over the years to leave the team he loves if they don't start losing again, but has so far been unable to follow through. Michael spent 4 years as an undercover agent in Braves territory at the University of South Carolina, where he covered football and soccer for The Daily Gamecock before moving back up north. He began writing for The Phrontiersman in June 2009 before moving to Phillies Nation in January 2010.

  • Posts: 5322 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Sheesh! Not one, but 2 mentions of his butt? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    • Posts: 0 paulie

      Clearly this writer is enamored with Bastardo’s butt.

  • Posts: 1041 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    I really think that having a full year in the pen will be a great help to Antonio. I think it will help him know what it takes to get through a full year. I would really not have a problem with him being the closer or have him be one of a pair of closers for the phillies.

    • Posts: 2071 Brooks

      Avatar of Brooks

      I’m hoping so too betasig but, sure dont want to put all my hopes in just one guy. I’m not saying to resign Madson either but, there has to be contingency plans, things dont always work out the way you hope.

      • Posts: 35 Michael Baumann

        Avatar of Michael Baumann

        I’m very pleased you brought that up, Brooks. There will be a post asking and attempting to answer that very question on Friday. Stay tuned.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Bastardo really cant be much better. He was the nice suprise for the Phils in 2011.
    He really contirbuted more than most really comprehend.
    He will probably regress some next year but thats OK. He can still be very valuable if he does.

    Now I have one concern. When a player all of the sudden comes from no where to be dominant I wonder if they went to the same 7-11 in the dominican republic that JC Romero went to in 2008.

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    I agree with Brooks, I believe they have to go for another top reliever. Bastardo has been known to be injury prone, and also be known to get a little wild and walk a bunch of batters. I wouldnt mind seen Bell up in here to replace Madson if Bell came cheaper. I havent been watching this WS but i heard they been going to the pen a bunch. At times Cholly would leave a ineffective starter because he couldnt trust his Pen. tLets give Cholly another good bullpen piece. I know the Braves have gone with rookies or sophomore but lets face it i dont think anyone on our staff is the next Venters or Kimbrel.

  • Posts: 31 Gavin

    Avatar of Gavin

    I don’t think Bastardo needs to get a job what’s that important out of the ‘pen, maybe if he does well he can be the setup guy. This year he only did that stuff because there was no one else, if they can get a good reliever and a closer, Bastardo doesn’t have to come in as a closer or setup guy.
    Though Bastardo was really good this year, can’t wait to see if he can go on this way.

  • Posts: 1041 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    I think he can become more consistant, and not get the tired arm he appeared to have in September now that he should know what it takes to 162. I am not saying to depend on him solely, I think they need another lefty. He has nasty stuff especially when he gets ahead in the count. Still young may even be able to increase the fastball velocity, Madson did from 29-31. I may have selective memory, or maybe he was hurt, but I recall some of his control trouble came when he was not used for a streach of time. And again if memory serves he was good against both lefties and righties, so if you are facing a L – R- L situation in the 7th or eight or even in the ninth he could pitch to all three guys. So what they need to find is a real LOOGY for the pen weather it be from the farm or FA

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