Phillies Notes: Phillies' Manuel defends using Bastardo Friday night

Posted: July 08, 2012

A day after watching reliever Antonio Bastardo spoil Kyle Kendrick's spotless start, manager Charlie Manuel defended his decision to go to the bullpen in the eighth inning.

Bastardo entered a scoreless game Friday and proceeded to cough up five runs in the eventual Phillies loss. In two-thirds of an inning, he walked three and surrendered a grand slam to Brian McCann.

Manuel said he lifted Kendrick for the lefthanded Bastardo to face Atlanta's lefty-heavy lineup.

"Why shouldn't I bring him in to pitch to those lefthanded hitters?" Manuel said. "That's what it is to me. I made the right move. He didn't get it done, but so what? . . . That's going to happen. You're going to get hit sometimes. He's got to get it across and be more consistent. If he does, then we got a real good pitcher."

Bastardo almost escaped the eighth without giving up a run. With two outs and runners on first and second, Bastardo jumped ahead 1-2 against Chipper Jones. But the pitcher then threw three straight balls, and Jones walked.

Jones said he knew Bastardo would struggle to get that third strike.

"That guy has got really good stuff, but he's struggling with command right now," Jones told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "When he throws strikes, it's down the middle. When he tries to be on the corner, he's missing off. So he got ahead of me, maybe tried to be a little too fine, ended up walking me."

Bastardo said after the game that he has struggled with his fastball command. But pitching coach Rich Dubee said that was not true; Bastardo just lost poise.

Against the Mets on Thursday, Bastardo pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, and he started the inning by inducing a pop out from David Wright. That, Dubee said, was the key.

"He doesn't get the first guy out, it starts snowballing," he said. "A lot of it is confidence. He's got to get his head straight. His stuff is fine."

Halladay rehab

Dubee said Roy Halladay (right lat strain) threw a successful bullpen session Saturday, his third since going on the disabled list. Halladay will fly to Clearwater, Fla., on Sunday and will throw another bullpen session Monday. If all goes well, the pitcher's next step would be to make his first rehab appearance.

Dubee said he has seen "steady improvement" in Halladay since he started throwing again, and he threw all of his pitches Saturday. Halladay looked stronger while throwing long toss than he did during his last bullpen session, Dubee said.

Rash going to school

Alec Rash, one of the Phillies' second-round picks from last month's draft, will not sign with the team, his father told the Des Moines Register on Friday. Instead, the pitcher will enroll at Missouri.

Mike Rash said he and his family met with Phillies officials four times to negotiate a contract. The family requested $800,000. The Phillies offered $500,000 in addition to $120,000 for college, Mike Rash said.

According to Baseball America, the Phillies could offer Alec Rash only $693,100 without being penalized. As part of the labor agreement between Major League Baseball and the players union, each team was limited in how much money it could spend on draft picks this year.

The Phillies had only $693,100 left to spend on Rash. They could pay him more, but the team would be taxed and could lose future draft picks.

Phillies assistant general manager Marti Wolever said the team would not have offered Rash anything more than the recommended money for his slot in the draft even if there were no tax.

"Quite frankly, he hasn't performed like a player deserving of more than the slot," Wolever said. "It's probably best for him to go to school."

Rash's father told the Des Moines Register that he had been transparent before the draft about contract demands. But Wolever said that wasn't the case.

"He seemed to have a different price for every team," he said. "It changed depending on the day."

Second-half rotation

Dubee announced Saturday that Cliff Lee would start next Friday against the Rockies in the Phillies' first game after the all-star break. He will be followed by Vance Worley and Cole Hamels.

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