CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies expect to see a more effective Antonio Bastardo this season.
They can be more judicious in how they use the left-hander because they have right-hander Mike Adams pitching the eighth, setting up Bastardo for more favorable matchups. Plus, they believe Bastardo figured out a few things late in the season, which should help him regardless of when he is used.
Bastardo carried a 5.45 ERA through 47 appearances through Aug. 21, but had a 1.29 ERA in 18 appearances the rest of the way.
"There was something," Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "Not delivery-wise as much as it was using both sides of the plate. He was dominant right-handed in, fastball and slider behind it. He did not pitch away very much to right-handed hitters. He started using both sides of the plate more."
Bastardo pitched consistently well against left-handers throughout the season. Lefties hit just .169 with a .569 OPS against him.
"When was he up and down?" Dubee asked. "Was he up and down against the left-handers he faced? They sat down mostly. They sat down. He was up and down against the meat of a right-handed-hitting lineup. You call that up and down? You run any lefty against that over and over again, you're going to get burned. I don't care who he is. Look at [Matt] Thornton, look at Jonny Venters. Those guys had to go through the meats of right-handed hitting lineups, they struggled. They struggled. Antonio got placed in some tough spots.
"Antonio's fine. He's fine. Like I said the other day: Put him out there. Put him on the wire and see if 29 teams don't come calling. You don't think they do?"
Amaro says Phillies set with rotation
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- File this one under: It never hurts to ask.
Right-hander Kyle Lohse remains a free agent, despite pitching effectively the previous two seasons with the Cardinals. The Phillies' rotation includes Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, but a pitcher like Lohse certainly would make their pitching staff more formidable.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said this weekend the Phillies will not be surprising anybody with a free-agent signing like Lohse.
"I think we're going into the spring with what we've got right now," Amaro said. "It's subject to change always, but we're going to see these guys."
Amaro said he sees Kyle Kendrick and John Lannan as the team's fourth and fifth starters.
"But there are guys in camp that are going to be battling," Amaro insisted. "We've got [Aaron] Cook, Rodrigo Lopez and [Jon] Pettibone. Somebody might open up some eyes, [Tyler] Cloyd, you never know. Lannan is the frontrunner. It's kind of his job to lose, but he's got to pitch just like everybody else. There are very few guys who are locked in."
Manuel confident in motivated Ruiz, Galvis
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel thinks Carlos Ruiz and Freddy Galvis will bounce back fine from suspensions after violating the league's policy against performance-enhancing drugs.
Ruiz will open the season serving a 25-game suspension for using Adderall. Galvis served a 50-game suspension last year after testing positive for a metabolite of Clostebol, but did not play the rest of the season because of a back injury.
"I think they want to show that they are good players and they can play real good," Manuel said. "Does that help them? Yes, of course, in some ways. I think I know both of the guys and I think that I know they are going to play hard and they are going to try to prove to themselves and everyone else that they may have made a mistake, they plan on playing over it and becoming the type of player we think they are."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.