Phillies Pitching Woes (Originally Posted On My Facebook 6/4/09)

Pat EganCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2009

CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 20:  Yorman Bastardo #76 of the Philadelphia Phillies poses for a photo during Spring Training Photo day on February 20, 2009 at Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
As June rolls in Baseball season is obviously heating up. Its becomming apparent now who are the real contenders and who just plain suck. Predictions are either comming true or making people like me look like a jackass (Sorry again Raul for criticizing the signing). And as baseball gets heated up people tend to get ancy ESPECIALLY when it comes to injuries and the moves that occur.

In the Phillies case the point of interest is the starting rotation. and the question at hand seems to be When are they going to make a trade to get someone in here. But i will propose a different question. Should they really make a move? I will state my case on why they SHOULDNT make a move

The Phillies rotation as it stands right now is
Hamels, Blanton, Happ, Moyer, Bastardo

With that (and lets not forget Park and Carpenter) and a stud bullpen that has seen their Lights Out closer be very much Lights on. Lidge has blown 4 saves this season AND STILL the team is 30-20 with a 2 1/2 game lead up on the mets. obviously if you add those 4 blown saves that Lidge has the Phillies would be up by 6 games. which means that with the rotation they have now they would still be in 1st place and if Lidge would have been the 08 Lidge they would have a commanding lead. And that 2 months that saw Park, Moyer, and Blanton struggle tremendously and Hamels get injured when the wind blew the wrong way

Now with the rotation that have in place that rotation has only lost 10 games. the most comming with Moyer who has lost 5 by himself and Bastardo and Happ losing none so far (granted they have 3 starts between them) so what you have is a rotation that really doesnt lose all that many games. Mainly because this team doesnt lose many games

Yet when i turn on sports radio or look on message boards you would think it was a year ago and we were still looking for a championship. WE ARE PANICKING over losing Brett Myers. SERIOUSLY? ITS BRETT MYERS PEOPLE the guy was tied for second on the team with loses (3) and had close to a 5 ERA (4.66) and unlike with Blanton and Moyer Myers looked like the regular Myers. You know the guy who goes out and gives up a walk, hit, double, Hr and finally gets out of the first. Im not saying Myers was awful or anything but he never lived up to the 12th overall pick.

Now i bring all of you back to last year. When it seemd that everyone wanted to mortgage the farm to get CC Sabathia. And when we got Blanton we all howled in pain. "HOW ARE WE GOING TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS WITH THIS GUY"......"THIS IS THE PROBLEM WITH THE PHILS THEY SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN CC OR HARDEN" and this resulted in CC getting rocked in the playoffs (by us) and Harden go golfing early as well. it also saw that no name guy (Joe Blanton) go undefeated as a Phillie. and ill remind you we clinched the division by 1 game. Harden by the way is injured this season and CC booked it for Broadway. So the point im getting at is i was basically hearing the same crap last year. and we won the World Series

OK so that brings us to Mr. Popular. Jake Peavey (this years version of CC)
Look guys Peavey isnt comming. hate to be the guy who says theres no Santa. but hes not. and if he is i urge you to please wake up because you must be dreaming. Yea i know what his agent said. Im sure before the douchebag vetoed the Whitesox trade he would have said the same thing about the Sox. thats what agents do. they dont want everyone to like their client. so the agent is going to go out there when asked if Jake would want to play in Philly and say "Fuck no he hates it there" but lets actually look at the fact here
Jake used the exscuse that his family is in San Diego and he wants to stay there for now. SO if hes not going to go half way across the country to play he sure as hell aint comming all the way across the US to play. The other exscuse that leaked out was he was weary about playing for Ozzie Guillen because Ozzie can be critical. In Chicago, if he sucks, his manager would be critical. In Philly if he sucks an entire city would be critical. This guy is obviously a bitch who loves playing in a market where if he gets shelled no one cares. and that certainly doesnt describe Philly. Also many people say "he said he wanted to play for a contender" YES we did win the WS but the bandbox title still follows us around and dont think it wouldnt factor into his decession of waiving a no trade clasue to come here

Also with Peavey you would probably have to give them Basrardo, Happ, Drabek, Taylor. it just isnt worth it. i sure dont want another Andy Ashby.

Another reason i dont think they need to make a move is because with all the pitchers that have been named with the exception for a select few they are all under contract. with the kids we would trade we can control them for 7 year in arbitration and while we did win the WS we gave a hefty contract to Ibanez and dont have a lot of fluxuation considering were still paying Eaton and Jenkins.

OK now heres my main point

Many of you know my man crush surrounding Antonio Bastardo. Ive been following him for a little over 3 years now and have talked him up to everyone i could. The only top 10 prospect list he seemed to be featured on the last two years was mine. So lets take a closer look at Tony Bastard

He went 9-0 in Lakewood with a 1.92 ERA. He got called up for one game to pitch in High Single A Clearwater where he went 5 IP giving up 4 ER striking out 12. for all you non math majors out there that means that while he did give up 4 ER he struck out 4 Innings worth of batters in 5 innings.

The next season he started the season at high single A Clearwater where he had a 1.17 ERA. while he was at Clearwater he led ALL OF MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL in K's. He earned himself a callup to AA.
Now it should be noted that most scouts say the biggest test for a guy is that switch from A to AA

Now i would love to make up a stat sheet for his first game in Redding but frankly i dont remember it. It IS however in my FB group for Antonio Bastardo (just type his name into the search engine you should find it in groups) But i know it was good. not too mention the fact that the kids first game in Redding, Phillies GM Pat Gillick was in attendence just to see how he did. while i dont remember what his stat line was i know he didnt disapoint.
His first season in Redding saw him have an ERA of 3.76 and it should be noted that he arrived in Redding with arm isssues but didnt inform team doctors until after his 5th or 6th start. he did get an invite to the futures game but wasnt able to play because he was injured

Now Bastardo has ALWAYS had issues with walks. if you go back and look at his stats before this year it was a big issue for him. he was pulled from a game where he had a no hitter because his pitch count was way past 100 because of the fact that he was walking guys but that all changed this year

Bastardo got an invite up to the spring training where they decided to try and teach him a slider because he only had a fastball and a changeup. Now one of the mistakes the Phillies did was put Bastardo in the Bullpen in Redding at the start of the season.

Let it be known that Bastardo is a starter but has the makeup of a reliever. what i think happened was 1 of two things
1) Last season the Phillies converted Lefty Starter Josh Outman to a reliever because "they had no young lefty relievers" they then traded Outman in the Blanton deal which once again left them with no young lefty releivers. so they put Bastardo in the Penn with Escolona. If Escolona did well they would finally have a lefty of the future out of the penn and they would put Bastardo back in the rotation but if Escolona struggled they would have made Bastardo Reddings closer. Escolona flourished in the closers role in Redding and Bastardo was put back in the rotation to "Work on his pitchs"
2) I heard a report that Bastardo was late 3 times in spring training and they might have put him in Reddings penn as punnishment.

Whatever the case was they put Bastardo back in the rotation and all the kid did was dominate. the kid had a 1.82 ERA in Redding. but the best part was his walks were way down. i listened to a lot of his starts on the radio and this guy would fall behind guy 3-0 and then attack a guy and strike him out. the one game i listened to he had a no hitter through 4 innings. he eventually gave up a hit and went 6 ip striking out 10 giving up 0 ER. he got called up to AAA where in his first start at AAA he went 6 ip 3 er 11K's. His next start he went 7 ip only 1 K but 0 ER and only 1 walk.
This season in the minors he had 51 K's and only 10 walks.

My point with all of this is to prove Bastardo never really struggled at any level in the minors. people made a big deal about his size not realizing that the reigning Cy Young Award winner is 5'10. When i look at the kid he has no fear whatsoever.

This is a LEFTY who hits 95. Hamels hits 92 on occasion. its very rare for a Lefty to throw that hard. He JUST started using his slider which will only get better with time and his best pitch is the changeup which he barely threw in his first major league game which saw him go 6 IP with 5 K's and 1 ER picking up the W. Now when you add in the fact that Bastardo has Jamie Moyer, king of the breaking ball, on his team you have a possible ace. because if he can learn a 4th pitch (preferably a breaking ball) to compliment the 95 MPH fastball.....thats devastating.

So what im getting at here is Bastardo has never struggled at any level and i have no doubt in my mind that he will succed at the major league level.

Happ has the potential to be a #2 starter. the kid led the international league in K's with an 88 MPH fastball and a devastating changeup. as i type this he has gone 6 ip giving up 0 ER.


Even if you sat there and still think we need a starter i will bring up this point.
Say you have Bastardo go out there and get rocked. he goes 4 ip giving up 5 ER. the penn manages to stop the bleading there. with this offense 6 runs is NEVER out of the question. So if you have 5 guys who you believe can get you quality starts (and i obviously do) and you have an offense which averages the ammount of runs this team does (5.64 runs a game) whats the point of trading all these prospects to upgrade at a position that your already pretty solid at.

I mean if Your going to score 5 runs and your starter gives up 4 YOU STILL WIN. theres no point of trading all these guys when you have 5 starters who can all give you a chance to win. and if they dont you have Raul ibanez.

I hope i have made a decent point. if not i wasted your time and mine i guess. Last year we werent going to make the playoffs without CC and we won the WS with Blanton. i think that with this offense and the pitching staff we have theres no reason to think we cant do the same because Happ and Bastado ARE that good. and Hamels hasnt really been Hamels yet. and Blantons last few starts have been a lot better. and Moyer is always Moyer.