Originally written on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Bastardo had his ups and downs in 2012. Antonio Bastardo–equipped with a new jersey number–assumed the role of set-up man for the Phillies in 2012. He had the second most innings (behind Jonathan Papelbon) among Phils relievers, but never quite reached the Ryan Madson level that the Phillies have been looking for in a set-up man. He posted a 4.33 ERA and had a pretty high walk rate at 11.6% (and 4.5 BB/9). Even though his overall numbers were ‘OK’, he did not fare well when the pressure was on. In high leverage situations, 17 runs, compared to a combined nine in medium and low leverage situations. In other words, he crumbled under pressure a decent amount of the time. And when you are the team’s set-up man, you must perform under pressure, because the 8th inning is the more difficult inning a lot of the time in a close game. Which is why a good closer needs a good set-up man. Kind of like a sidekick—but not. One thing that he really excelled at was strikeouts. He had a K rate of 36.2% and a K/9 of 14.02–both bests among Phils relievers and near the top in the NL as well. Both were good for top-5 among qualified NL relievers. Going further, 13.6% of his pitches ended up with a whiff, which again was near the top in the league. Grade: C … Overall, Bastardo was a decent part of the bullpen. He struck guys out, but also walked a lot of batters. He had a high ERA, but his FIP wasn’t nearly as bad. He cost the Phillies a handful of games and wasn’t a good enough set-up man for them. He’s going to have to do better if he wants to keep the set-up job.
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