Results tagged ‘ Antonio Bastardo ’

Victorino Up, Bastardo Down, Gload Day-to-Day

If you saw Ross Gload pull up lame running to second base in the sixth inning last night you figured he absolutely had blown out his right groin and was headed to the DL.

But the Phillies announced today Gload is day-to-day.

They also announced they have activated Shane Victorino from the DL and optioned lefty Antonio Bastardo.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Bastardo to Help vs. Dodgers

The Phillies will recall left-hander Antonio Bastardo before tonight’s game against the Dodgers, a source said.

Not a surprise.

The Phillies optioned John Mayberry Jr. to Triple-A Lehigh Valley following Sunday’s game. He was optioned for a pitcher, and that really only left one choice. The Dodgers have left-handed hitting Andre Ethier and James Loney in the starting lineup, and there is a good chance the Phillies will need a lefty to face them at some point in the later innings. Right now their only option is J.C. Romero, and he has been struggling with his command. He has 22 walks in 24 1/3 innings this season, including six walks in his last 2 2/3 innings. His 8.1 walks per nine innings is the highest average of his career.

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Roy Oswalt gives us a peek inside his world, and talks about possibly leaving baseball following 2011.

Before the Astros traded Oswalt to the Phillies, there were numerous reports Oswalt absolutely would not waive his no-trade clause unless the Phillies picked up his 2012 option. It turned out to be incorrect. In fact, the Phillies only added $1 million to Oswalt’s side of the buyout of the mutual option. Maybe that is because Oswalt truly believes he might not play after 2011, and he did not want to commit to 2012. Or maybe the Phillies said, either come to Philly without the 2012 option being picked up or remain in Houston. Either way, I think it’s interesting.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Bastardo to DL, Mathieson Up

mathieson.jpgThe Phillies have placed Antonio Bastardo on the DL with left elbow ulnar neuritis.

They recalled Scott Mathieson to take his place.

Bastardo, 24, is 0-0 with a 5.11 ERA in 16 appearances. Mathieson, 26, is 2-2 with a 2.43 ERA and 12 saves in 25 appearances with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Mathieson had a 0.79 ERA in his first 19 appearances.

This completes Mathieson’s grueling journey back to the big leagues. He went 1-4 with a 7.47 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts) with the Phillies in 2006. His struggles led to the Phillies acquiring Jamie Moyer. Mathieson injured his right elbow Sept. 2, 2006, and had Tommy John surgery Sept. 29. He made seven rehab appearances in August 2007, but felt more discomfort and required ulnar nerve transposition Sept. 24, 2007.

Mathieson had his second Tommy John surgery in 2008.

The chances of returning to the big leagues following two Tommy John surgeries are slim, but Mathieson did it. He’s back. And I know fans have been eager to see him pitch at the big-league level again.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Lidge Back on DL

Brad Lidge is back on the DL.

He has had inflammation in his right elbow since he pitched Sunday against Atlanta at Citizens Bank Park. A MRI on Thursday in Philadelphia revealed no loose bodies or damaged ligaments, which the Phillies and Lidge considered good news. But the MRI still showed inflammation in the elbow joint.

They hoped rest would make it go away. It never did, so the Phillies announced after today’s 10-6 victory over the Brewers at Miller Park that they had placed him on the 15-day DL. They recalled Antonio Bastardo from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take his place.

“This isn’t something we didn’t anticipate,” assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. “Based on the way he threw today we decided this is the action to take.”

Lidge, who still felt stiffness in his arm playing catch before the game, can be activated as early as May 25.

“It is disappointing, but also the doctors said it’s definitely a possibility because we didn’t treat it at all,” Lidge said. “We just gave it a couple days rest. There are treatments we can give for it, hopefully, exactly what we need. It’s frustrating didn’t go away on its own.”

Two options for Lidge are a second cortisone injection – he received his first in March – and a joint lubricant injection.

He said they will make that decision Monday in Philadelphia.

“We didn’t want to do it yet,” Lidge said of any injections. “We wanted to see if it would recover on its own in a couple days. We didn’t get there. … We had a cortisone shot in March and that worked really good. Hopefully, that’ll be what it needs to get over the hump.”

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

The Pitching Picture

hamels 0418 2010.jpgCole Hamels pitched great yesterday, which almost made yesterday’s 2-0 loss to the Marlins feel like a victory.

Almost.

The way the Phillies’ rotation has looked lately, it needed Hamels to flash the signs he flashed in Spring Training, namely, that he looked like the ’08 Hamels, not the ’09 Hamels. I never thought Hamels pitched terribly in his first two starts, so I never worried. He had poor command against Washington on April 7 and was a check-swing away from allowing just one run through his first four innings against the Nationals last Wednesday. But there is no question the Phillies’ rotation needed somebody to step up other than Roy Halladay, who is 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA.

Joe Blanton remains on the DL, although he could be back following the team’s nine-game road trip through Atlanta, Arizona and San Francisco. He makes a rehab start Tuesday with Single-A Lakewood. J.A. Happ (1-0, 0.00 ERA) has soreness in his left forearm and might miss his next start — maybe more. He will throw today at Citizens Bank Park. If he feels fine, he could start as early as Wednesday in Atlanta. If he doesn’t feel fine? It could be a problem. It goes without saying the Phillies need the rotation to stay healthy because the back end of the rotation is struggling: Jamie Moyer is 1-1 with a 7.50 ERA and Kyle Kendrick is 0-0 with a 17.47 ERA.

The Phillies don’t need a fifth starter until Saturday, so the Phillies can give Happ time to rest. But when Saturday rolls around in Arizona they’ll need a fifth starter. If Happ can’t pitch I’m guessing Nelson Figueroa takes the spot.

Tuesday is a big start for Kendrick. He not only is pitching for his spot in the rotation, but possibly his spot on the team. Kendrick took Blanton’s spot in the rotation, so when Blanton is back Kendrick is out. Finding a spot for Kendrick looks difficult, at least in the short term.

J.C. Romero could be back sometime during this road trip. He likely will replace Antonio Bastardo. Brad Lidge could be back following the road trip. I think the Phillies will try to keep David Herndon on the 25-man roster. (They must keep him on the roster or they likely lose him because he’s a Rule 5 Draft pick.) That means Lidge might take Figueroa’s spot in the bullpen. But if Blanton returns before Lidge, the Phillies might option Kendrick to the Minors and bring him back as the long man once they lose Figueroa. Figueroa is out of options and must clear outright waivers to send him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. As well as he has pitched, I can’t see that happening.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Good Thursday for Kendrick, Big Friday for Moyer


Thumbnail image for kendrick 0308.jpgCharlie Manuel
insisted today that the Phillies haven’t talked about the fifth spot in their rotation.

Nope, not once.

(Insert “Really?!? with Seth & Amy” here.)

But the decision is near. Believe that much. In fact, it could be pretty clear after Jamie Moyer pitches tomorrow night against the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. If he pitches OK, the job could be his. If he gets knocked around, things get a little more interesting.

Kyle Kendrick, who is competing with Moyer for the job, impressed again today in an 8-7 victory over the Astros at Bright House Field. Kendrick struggled with his command early and arguably had his worst stuff of the spring but allowed five hits, two runs (one earned run) and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out one. Kendrick has an impressive 1.37 ERA after five Grapefruit League appearances. Moyer has a 3.86 ERA in four spring appearances, which includes on Grapefruit League and three B game starts.

Big night for Moyer on Friday?

“I don’t know,” Manuel said. “I don’t think so. Not really.”

Really?!?

The Phillies announced on March 31 last year that Chan Ho Park had edged J.A. Happ for the fifth spot in the rotation. It would not be a surprise to see the Phillies make this year’s announcement around the same time with Kendrick scheduled to make his final Grapefruit League start next Tuesday.

“I’m pleased with the way Kyle is throwing the ball, but I also know there’s a track record on the other guy,” Rich Dubee said.

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A couple notes from today:

  • Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero are expected to open the season on the DL. No surprise there. The Phillies can backdate DL stints to March 26, which means today would have been the last day they could have pitched in a Grapefruit League game. The earliest Lidge or Romero are eligible to pitch is April 10 in Houston. There remains a chance Lidge could be ready to pitch in Houston, but Romero still hasn’t appeared in a Minor League Spring Training game. He is further behind.
  • Roy Halladay allowed seven hits, two runs and one walk and struck out seven in seven innings in a Minor League Spring Training game against the Yankees in Tampa. He threw 98 pitches. Halladay will make his final Grapefruit League start Wednesday against the Blue Jays at Bright House Field. He makes his Phillies debut April 5 on Opening Day in DC.
  • Left-hander Antonio Bastardo allowed two hits, three runs, one walk and one home run in one inning. He struck out two. He has a 7.71 ERA in six Grapefruit League appearances. “I can’t say a whole lot of our guys have been real sharp the last time out,” Rich Dubee said. “I think we’re at that point right now in Spring Training where guys are going through a little bit of a dead arm and dead body period, which is fine. I’d rather they hit it now than the first week of the season.”

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Thanks to WIP’s Howard Eskin and Ike Reese for having me on today to talk about the Phillies and my book.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Bullpen Help Needed?


escalona 2.jpgJ.C. Romero
might miss just one week of the season, but if the first two weeks of Spring Training are any indication it might be a rough one.

The Phillies are looking at rookie left-handers Antonio Bastardo, Sergio Escalona and Mike Zagurski to take his place until Romero returns. So far Bastardo and Escalona have struggled. Zagurski has pitched just once.

Escalona allowed four hits, three runs and one walk in one inning today in a 4-3 loss to the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. In three Grapefruit League appearances, Escalona has allowed eight hits, five runs and one walk in three innings. He has a 15.00 ERA and two blown saves. Bastardo has allowed five hits, four runs (three earned runs) in two innings in two appearances. He has a 13.50 ERA and one blown save. He has struck out four. Zagurski threw two scoreless innings in his only Grapefruit League appearance. He will pitch Monday morning in a B game against the Blue Jays at Dunedin Stadium.

“Well, not as good as I’d like to see yet,” said Rich Dubee, asked to assess his left-handed pitching situation with Opening Day nearly three weeks away. “But I’m sure it will iron itself out. We like both of those kids. We like Zagurski, even though he hasn’t been in many games. We think those guys have the ability to pitch in the big leagues. But the later we get in the spring the more they’re going to have to show it. They haven’t shown it yet.”

And if they don’t?

“We’ll see,” Dubee said. “We’ll make that call when we have to make that call.”

Ruben Amaro Jr. said Saturday there is no “sense of urgency” to find a left-handed pitcher to help the bullpen, but if the right pitcher comes at the right price (a Minor League contract, for example) and Bastardo and Escalona continue to struggle that could change.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Romero Unlikely for Opening Day, Shooting for First Homestand


romero softball.jpgJ.C. Romero
said he feels fine, but he also said he has just one chance to do this right.

So he said this morning at Bright House Field that he does not expect to be ready by Opening Day on April 5 in Washington. Instead, he said he hopes to join the team for its first home series April 12-15 against the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park.

Romero’s likely absence from the Opening Day roster means there are at least two jobs available in the bullpen — three, if Brad Lidge also is not ready. But no Romero certainly gives an advantage to left-handers like Antonio Bastardo, Sergio Escalona and Mike Zagurski because the Phillies have no other left-handers in the bullpen.

“Everything is moving in the right direction,” Romero said. “But to be realistic, I know I want to break camp with the team, but I realize the time is against me. That’s not good, but I’m very optimistic about being with the team by the first homestand. I think they can deal without me for the first road trip. And that’s better for the team.”

And for himself.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Brown, Gillies, Ramirez and Bastardo …

The Blue Jays spanked the Phillies today at Dunedin Stadium, 14-9, but a few Phillies prospects made their mark:

- Domonic Brown, the organization’s top prospect, went 2 for 4 with one double and two RBIs. He also threw out a runner at the plate in the sixth inning. Brown tried to stretch his double into a triple in the seventh, but was thrown out after a head first slide.

“I made a couple adjustments early on after my first couple at-bats,” Brown said. “I was trying to do too much. Just settled down after the second at-bat, got some pitches to hit and luckily drove a couple. I feel pretty good. … It’s great for me. If I can hit here (against big league pitching) I should be able to hit anywhere. It’s great competition. It’s hard work, man. I’m tired.”

Brown said he would not have tried to stretch his double into a triple during the regular season, but he thought he would be aggressive.

“I was trying to test it out,” he said.

- Tyson Gillies hit a solo homer to right field in the sixth inning. He literally sprinted around the bases.

“Oh, man,” Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. “Wow. He was in the B game today (at Bright House Field). Throwing, he can throw, too. He’s got a good arm. A good looking player. A very good looking player. I like him a lot. … He’s got a lean, too. That means he can really get around those bases. He’s leaning the right way. Inside lean. That’ll get you around there quick.”

Gillies is becoming known in camp for his high motor. He’s always running somewhere, which is why Manuel memorably said that Gillies “takes shagging to another level.” Does Gillies do anything slow?

“That’s a question that everybody asks me,” Gillies said. “I try. Honestly, I try to slow things down. The last few days of hitting that was something that was really getting me down, being too quick. Wanting everything now and being impatient. Trying to slow things down and knowing when I should use my speed.”

So home trots are a time to use his speed?

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “I’m not going to hit a lot of home runs, so I’m not going to do the whole slow pace around them. Quickly score the run and move forward.”

- J.C. Ramirez, who joined Gillies and Phillippe Aumont in the Cliff Lee trade, allowed four hits, five runs (four earned runs) and three walks in just 1 1/3 innings. “His command was off,” Charlie Manuel said. “He was a little wild. He’ll get more work. We’ll see.”

- Antonio Bastardo struck out two in a perfect eighth inning. “Bastardo pitched a good clean inning,” Manuel said. “He threw some good pitches. He threw a good fastball and threw a couple good breaking balls. He had a good inning.”

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Baez Agrees to Two-Year Deal

baez.jpgSources said today the Phillies had agreed to a two-year contract with right-hander Danys Baez, pending a physical. That physical is expected next week.

Baez, 32, went 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 59 appearances last season with the Baltimore Orioles. He has 114 career saves, including a career-high 41 saves for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2005. He was 0-6 with a 6.44 ERA in 53 appearances with the Orioles in 2008.

The Phillies have been looking for bullpen help since the 2009 season ended. Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin are the only locks for the 2010 bullpen, but both Lidge and Romero are recovering from elbow surgeries. Ruben Amaro Jr. said there is a chance they might not be ready to start the season.

Baez’s arrival at least gives Charlie Manuel, who had Baez in Cleveland from 2001-02, another ninth-inning option should Lidge not be ready.

Baez’s arrival also means free-agent right-hander Chan Ho Park will not be back.

Amaro, who has been unavailable for comment, said recently that once the Phillies sign a free-agent reliever they might have youngsters like Antonio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona take the remaining jobs in the bullpen. The Phillies have been interested in bringing back Scott Eyre, but a source said the Phillies have offered him only a Minor League contract and have held firm in their offer. Eyre, who was 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 61 appearances since he arrived in a trade with the Chicago Cubs in Aug. 2008, made $2 million last season.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

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