Former Mets Reliever: Antonio Bastardo (2016)
He began his career at low A ball going 9-0 with 1.87 ERA blowing away hitters with his fastball. He was used as a started in his early career, spending four full seasons in the minors before getting to the big leagues with the Phillies in 2009 for six games, going 2-3 as a starter. A shoulder injury shut him down for most of the rest of the regular season but he made the post season roster. Bastardo had one appearance in both the 2009 NLDS & NLCS.
Bastardo returned as a reliever for 25 games in 2010, he went 2-0 with 26 strike outs in just 18 innings, finishing up two games. His ERA was a concern at 4.25. He made another appearance in the NLCS loss to the San Francisco Giants.
In 2011 Bastardo took over the Phils closer role when Ryan Madsen went down with injury. He exceled in the role, going 6-1 with 8 saves & a 2.64 ERA. He posted 70 strike outs in 58 innings with 26 walks. He also recorded 17 holds in the set up role & had himself a 17 inning scoreless streak as well.
In the off season the Phillies signed Jonathan Paplebon & Bastardo agreed to let him wear his uniform #58. Bastardo switched to #37. The next year he gave that up to Mike Adams & switched to #37.
In 2013 he was involved in some drama, caught up in MLB's Biogenesis performance enhancing drug scandal & was suspended for 50 games. He returned to go 3-2 with two saves & a career best 2.32 ERA in 48 games. As the Phillies went down the tubes, Bastardo remained one of their best pitchers & relivers. In 2014 he went 5-7 with a 3.94 ERA, striking out 84 batters in 64 innings, finishing up 17 games in the teams 89 loss season. That off season he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In July he notched his first Pirate save, coming at home against the Padres. He earned two more victories in August, and when he came to New York he struck out four Mets in a August 16th two inning appearance.
Bastardo finished the year 4-1 with nine holds & a 2.98 ERA as set up man in a strong Pirates bullpen. Bastardo struck out 64 more batters in 57 innings while walking 26 allowing just 39 hits. In 2015 lefties batted .178 against him. In the Wild Card Game loss to the Chicago Cubs he pitched a scoreless inning as well.
On January 22nd, the 30 year old signed a two year deal with the New York Mets for $12 million. He was added as left handed strength to the Mets bullpen as the bridge to closer Jeurys Familia.
Bastardo made his Mets debut on April 8th, striking out two Phillies in the 9th inning of a 7-2 Mets win. On April 25th he blew his only save as a Met, giving up a base hit to the Reds Joey Votto, tp tie up the game. A Neil Walker HR the next inning gave the Mets the win.
Bastardo would appear in 41 games for New York, striking out 28 batters while walking 11 giving up 11 earned runs in 24 innings of work, with seven holds. His ERA of 4.64 was not what the Mets wanted. He didn't seem to gel with the players & with the team wanting to give Jon Niese another chance, on August 1st he was traded back to the Pittsburgh Pirates for former Met Jon Niese.
Bastardo would go 3-0 in 28 games with Pittsburgh posting a 4.12 ERA. In an eight year career he is 27-19 with 12 saves, 462 strike outs, 183 walks & a 3.75 ERA in 410 games, 384 innings pitched.
Family: Antonio is married to his wife Maribel.