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When first called up, Bastardo reminded many of a younger J.C. Romero; he was a kid who needed to work on both his command and control.
Well, he is now in his second full season with the Phillies, and while he is still a kid, the command and control have progressed and helped Bastardo mature into one of the better relievers in the National League.
Phillies' insiders have even speculated that Bastardo is the closer of the future for the organization.
This season, Bastardo is sporting a 0.96 ERA to go along with his WHIP of 0.86. Hitters are batting just .120 against the Dominican Republic native, as Bastardo has 33 strikeouts in 28 IP.
Ryan Madson is dealing with inflammation in his hand, and with Brad Lidge on the shelf looking like damaged goods, Bastardo is closing in on taking over the closer role this year—unless of course the Heath Bell rumors are true, and the Phillies deal for the Padres closer.
Regardless, Bastardo has the goods to compete well into October. His maturity is great for a 26-year-old, plus his command and control issues are nonexistent.