Antonio Bastardo: Behind Schedule

Antonio Bastardo still behind schedule.

According to Matt Gelb of Philly.com, Phillies left-hander, Antonio Bastardo is still behind schedule and will continue to throw bullpen sessions instead of live batting practice.

If you fail to remember, Bastardo was shut down in the Dominican Winter League because of arm stiffness.

Antonio Bastardo is expected to be an integral part of the bullpen this year.  The 25-year old would likely be the first left-hander out of the bullpen this year, especially with his high strike-out rate (12.5 K/9).  Bastardo needs to work on his walk rate in hopes to lowering it below 3 BB/9 (4.3 BB/9 in 2010).

In first full season in the bullpen, Bastardo posted okay numbers (4.34 ERA, 1.5 WHIP), but he certainly has plenty of room to improve.  Mostly, a fastball/slider pitcher, Bastardo saw an increase in velocity on both of his pitches as a reliever.

It remains to be seen if he will return to hitting 93-94 MPH after this set back.  The Phillies have J.C. Romero for insurance.

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