Despite having an off day, the Phillies suffered another loss on Monday.
According to Yahoo! Sports, reliever Antonio Bastardo is one of thirteen players who have been suspended due to involvement with the Biogenesis wellness clinic. Bastardo has reportedly agreed to serve a fifty game suspension due to the league possessing evidence linking Bastardo to performance enhancing drugs.
The news comes as a surprise since Bastardo’s had not been mentioned in association with the clinic before today.
This is yet another blow to a Phillies bullpen that has been ravaged by injuries, inconsistency, and poor performance. Bastardo had not been as dominating as he was in his breakout 2011 season, but in a bullpen filled with question marks, he was one of the more reliable pieces.
If there is any consolation for Phillies fans, it is that Bastardo will be able to serve out the suspension in what is looking more and more like a lost 2013 season. He should be able to return for the start of the 2014 season.
Bastardo is eligible for arbitration this upcoming offseason, so it will be interesting to see how the suspension affects contract negotiations. The Phillies might be concerned at how much Bastardo depended on PEDs, and if they had anything to do with his dramatic drop off in performance between 2011 and 2012.
Regardless of how the situation turns out, as far as the 2013 Phillies are concerned, this is just another piece of bad news in a season that has already had plenty of it.