Lefty Antonio Bastardo makes his major league debut tonight as the Phils face the Padres in San Diego. The 23-year-old has been undeniably impressive this season at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Here are his numbers for the season between the two stops:
Opponents are hitting just .194 against him, he’s struck out more than a batter an inning and allowed just two home runs in 47 2/3 innings.
The Phillies signed Bastardo as a non-drafted free agent in June of 2005 and has been pitching well for them since. In 2006 he threw just 23 innings in the Gulf Coast League. In 2007 and 2008 he worked full-time as a starter. In 2009 he has made four appearances as a reliever, but the other seven have been starts. Here’s his rates for hits, walks, strikeouts and home runs for the past three seasons:
The strikeouts are impressive. He’s struck out 297 in his 264 2/3 career innings in the minors and so far this year he’s kept his strikeout rate up near where it had been at the lower levels. Beyond that, two things stick out. The first is that he’s walked far fewer hitters in 2009 than he has in the two previous seasons. After walking 92 in 194 1/3 innings in ’07 and ’08 combined, he’s walked just ten hitters in 47 2/3 innings in 2009. Between ’06 and ’07 Bastardo walked more than four hitters per nine innings and that’s just too many. By way of comparison, Myers has walked 3.14 batters per nine over his career, Blanton 2.57, Hamels 2.34 and Moyer 2.58. He hasn’t walked much of anybody at all so far in ’09 — let’s hope that trend continues.
The other thing is the home runs. In 2007 and 2009 he allowed just five in 144 1/3 innings, but last year he allowed 15 in 97 2/3 innings. Of the 15, 13 came in the 67 innings he pitched at Double-A Reading. He’s been great at keeping the ball in the yard so far in ’09. Like the walks, let’s hope it’s a trend that continues.
John Mayberry will be sent down to AAA to make room for Bastardo on the roster. Sergio Escalona was called up into Myers’ roster spot.
JC Romero can be activated after tonight’s game.