Bastardo and the Sharks Blank the Yanks

Despite having given up just four runs in four games while striking out a league high 34 batters Clearwater Threshers’ starter Antonio Bastardo had earned just one win in his first four tries this year. On Sunday afternoon he would be given his fifth chance to earn a win, and he certainly made the most of his outing. Antonio had his best outing of the year going 8.0 innings and striking out 13 Yankees in the process both season highs for him. Over that eight innings of work he allowed just three base runners on two hits and a walk to the next to last batter he faced.

Meanwhile the Threshers offense gave him the run support he had been lacking when Tuffy Gosewisch crushed a two-run ground rule double with the bases loaded in the fourth inning, and Fidel Hernandez singled to drive in two RBIs of his own putting the Clearwater Threshers on top 4-0.

The Threshers added an insurance run in the ninth inning on a Alan Robbins triple, and an RBI single from Jay Miller to put the team up 5-0. Brian Schlitter closed out the ninth for the team sending the boys home with a much needed win under their belts.

Antonio Bastardo picked up the SCHMIDT LIST player of the game award for another terrific outing while kudos also go out to Tuffy Gosewisch for sparking the team’s fourth inning rally, and to Alan Robbins for his 3-4 effort including a triple and a run scored.

These two teams will end the series at Clearwater on Monday night with the Threshers looking for another win.


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17 thoughts on “Bastardo and the Sharks Blank the Yanks

  1. http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080427&content_id=390757&vkey=news_milb&fext=.jsp

    Clearwater Threshers manager Razor Shines wouldn’t be surprised if Antonio Bastardo moved up three levels and took the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies before the year is over.

    The latest evidence backing up assessment was Sunday’s performance against the host Tampa Yankees. The 22-year-old left-hander fanned 13 and allowed just two hits over eight innings in a 5-0 shutout.

    “I would be shocked completely if this kid throws another start for me,” Shines said. “He’s good enough to pitch on a much higher level.” Bastardo (2-0, 1.17 ERA) leads the Minor Leagues in strikeouts, having fanned 47 batters in 30 2/3 innings this season. The Dominican Republican native, who was 10-0 in 16 games with Class A Lakewood and Class A Advanced Clearwater last year, has posted double-digit strikeout performances in three of his last four games.

    “He’s got the gamut,” Shines said. “Fastball, slider, change that he can throw for strikes on any count he wants. His changeup has really come along this spring and he’s causing a lot of problems for opposing batters. ”

    The manager credited Bastardo’s work with pitching coach Steve Schrenk for much of the hurler’s success.

  2. I think the Phillies will give Bastardo one more start at Clearwater just to make sure this is not an unusual hot streak. Within weeks, at the latest, he will be in Reading.

    Once at Reading, he will join a very interesting cast of talented young players, including Donald, Outman, Castro, Carrasco, Overholt, and Harman (he’s coming back soon, I’m sure).

    Here’s what I am struggling with. Let’s say one or two of the AA players look like they are ready for a promotion. What do you? Do you dare introduce a young player to the toxic chemical bath that is the Lehigh Valley Stuck Pigs or do you just wait it out and then promote the player to Philadelphia? Personally, unless there’s a true emergency, I think the only way to handle this is to promote several players at a time so that they do not have to bear that experience alone and so they can at least attempt to bring a winning aura with them. It would also be nice for the folks in Allentown who have felt the mighty, magic wand of minor league baseball foul their air. They deserve a little bit better than having what is turning out to be one of the very worst minor league teams in history. Seriously, it defies logic that they could be THIS bad.

  3. I have been following Bastardo since early last year. I have repeatedly wondered why he has not been rated more highly aa a prospect. I have been told he is too small at 165 lbs to keep his ball down. Also he lacks credible big league alternative pitches and he has a ‘command’ problem.

    Well, all that may be true but his performances have really been terrific for a young player. He was good at Lakewood and at Clearwater, he has just gotten better. At least, so far.

    As to his size being a potential problem, over at lakewood they have another good looking young pitcher – Tyson Brunnett – who also is on the slight side. If this is such a limiting factor, why draft these guys in the first place. Just make size one of the criteria before y we draft.

    Anyway, Bastardo has 31.2 IP this year at Clearwater with a 2-0 record, 20 H, 4 R, 10 BBs, 47 K’s, Era of about 1,12, and a WHIP under 1.0. This following 91 IP last year at Lakewood with 98 Ks, a record of 9-0, and an ERA under 2.0. If he has all these limiting problems, how come we haven’t seen this type performance from anyone else in years?

    I hope the “experts” are wrong and Antonio is what he appears to be and that’s a #1 prospect. Let’s get him up to Reading, let him take a few hits, then see how he finishes up this year and what he can do in a second year at Double AA ala Outman and Carrasco. By the way, in my in-expert opinion, Savery, Bastardo and Monasterios are all better long range prospects than Carrasco and Outman no matter what BA says. But then, I am judging them all by performance so maybe there’s another way. But I hope not. I’m rooting for the kid.

    Not that I don’t see Carrasco and/or Outman ever with the big club. Just not at the top of the rotation.

    But there is a big jump from Hi A to Double AA. (Ask Drew Carpenter.)

    Carrasco and Outman found that out last year. So let’s see how Savery and Bastardo handle it ASAP.

    Joey

  4. And Catch22 is right about Lehigh Velley. They are old and they are terrible. The Phils have done them a disservice in their first year. They will turn the area off to minor league baseball with this kind of performance. Lehigh needs pitching and hitting and lots of it. They don’t have a single position prospect that I can see and the only pitcher with even a chance to make the big leagues is Happ and he has disappointed since 2006. That team needs a makeover fast.

    The Phillies management should be ashamed. With up to 60 new players a year, they can’t field a representative team at Triple AAA?

    And I don’t think there are many real position prospects at Reading either. Donald is maybe a bench player. Golson has still not proven himself and in this, his second year at Reading, he got off well but is slipping backward. Slayden doesn’t appear to have what it takes so who else is there?

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think the Phillies Double AA and Triple AAA farm system management is really doing a bad job other than a few – and I am not yet sure how few but a few credible pitchers. Clearwater has maybe Cardenas and Simpson? And I don’t know about Simpson yet.

    Other systems have more.

    Joey

  5. Antonio Bastardo…I am officially impressed. As for being small…I don’t always buy the whole “pitchers build” BS that scouts spout. Ask Pedro Martinez or Roy Oswalt about that…both were considered undersized by scouts when they were in the minors too. Its about bringing it and getting outs and Bastardo is doing just that. I’d like to see what he can do at Reading.

  6. This article at MiLB.com has an interview with Razor Shines the Threshers’ manager after the game. He say he would not be suprised to see Bastardo in the majors this year, and would be suprised if he pitches another game in Clearwater. He says he is definitely ready to move up “several” levels.

  7. as i recall j. chamberlain and t. lincecum , and i,m not saying any phillies prospect has their pedigree, maybe, maybe not. but they went directly from college to the big club with a 15 inning stop at single a ball. their is no way bastardo should be at clearwater i dont care if hes 2 feet tall, same thing with savery, hes only pitching to the same level, even lower than, the level he faced in college. if we based playability on these minucia,s mel ott and many others would have never seen the bigs. and to joey with the pigs sorry joe but thats what triple a is, a home for older players and prospects who in all probability wont make it. as for reading think of this staff , carrasco , outman, bastardo, savery i doubt if that team would lose many games. not many prospects?

  8. Yes, I saw the same piece as Crupper did. I’m impressed
    with Shines’ appraisal of Bastardo. Why have we not
    heard this from others in the organization? He seems to
    have fallen through the organizational cracks…

  9. A few points.

    First, at this juncture, keeping Bastardo in Clearwater for much longer serves no purpose. He is entirely ready for a promotion, and I expect that he is about to get it. If he dominates at Reading for six weeks, he’ll go to Allentown or Philadelphia. But, since he is so relatively inexperienced and because the major league team is fine on pitching for the moment, there is no reason to rush him – he can go level by level at his own pace. If he pushes his way to Philly, so be it; if he stays in Reading or LHV, that’s fine too.

    As for Savery, I disagree that he is inappropriately placed at the current time. Yes, he’s done very well, but he has sometimes struggled with his command and does not always dominate. I think they really want him to get some innings under his belt in a low key atmosphere and just spend some time as a full-time pitcher before they go pushing him too quickly. That’s not to say that he won’t move up at some point this year, but I think they are right to take it slow with him so that when he gets to the majors, he is completely ready.

  10. “I have been following Bastardo since early last year. I have repeatedly wondered why he has not been rated more highly aa a prospect. I have been told he is too small at 165 lbs to keep his ball down. ”

    Well, i’ve never heard someone say being a short pitcher would effect ‘keeping the ball down’- but the general cautions that apply to Bastardo is, that as a short pitcher with a slight frame- at his age his ‘stuff’ isn’t likely to improve much. Guys like Pedro and Oswalt- some try to imply being short may affect a pitchers durability to pitch with power stuff (which usually turns out to be the biggest pitching myth). I agree, Bastardo has earned a promotion- but its just the first month of the season- no need to rant about how he shouldn’t be there. What we seemed to have learned about Bastardo is that his changeup has improved from last year- but despite the numbers we’re seeing in A ball, we have to keep perspective that this isn’t a kid with a mid 90′s fastball blowing people away. He may continue to improve, but at this point he is still a ‘pretty good’ prospect- and not a ‘great’ prospect.

  11. Last year the Zagurski timetable, who was lights out in relief to start the season in high A, was: Clearwater 12 games, then Reading 6 games games before his debut on May 25th in Phila. Kendrick was recalled from Reading on June 12th of last year after 12 starts. I would suspect a promotion to Reading soon for Bastardo based on Razor’s comments and past history. If they want to jump start the woebegone AAA franchise they might send him right to Lehigh Valley.

  12. I have never seen the guy pitch, but his strike out totals are staggering. and it doesn’t get better than his last game. 13k and 1 walk. that is awesome!!!

    that is what top pitchers do in the minors. they dominate minor league hitters. this remains my concern about savery. he has yet to show at any level (including college) the ability to dominate hitters and put them away.

    What an exciting team reading will have with this guy.

  13. also, who cares about him not having a mid-90′s fastball. he clearly can locate and mix up his pitches and throw several pitches for strikes. that is the key. have we not learned that yet? are we still awed by mid-90′s fastballs by kids who can’t locate? seriousy guys…let’s move past that b.s.

  14. # PP Fan Says:
    April 28, 2008 at 8:56 am

    also, who cares about him not having a mid-90’s fastball. he clearly can locate and mix up his pitches and throw several pitches for strikes. that is the key. have we not learned that yet? are we still awed by mid-90’s fastballs by kids who can’t locate? seriousy guys…let’s move past that b.s.

    but he doesnt have several pitches and this is the first year has shown improvements in walking people…. averaged 5BB/9 before this year between the GCL and A+

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