A roundup of weekend leftovers, starting with an update on the Phillies' top bullpen lefty.
Antonio Bastardo tasted his first winter ball action Saturday in the Dominican Republic, pitching an inning of perfect relief for Cibao. The 27-year-old lefty is hoping to bounce back from a frustrating 2012 season, one in which his K/9 shot up from 11 to 14 while his BABIP rose from .179 to .306. Still, it was more than bad luck as the walks and mistakes also mounted. The Phils, who are setting the lefty up for success by unofficially handing off the eighth inning to set-up stalwart Mike Adams if all goes to plan, would settle for something in between.
Averages: Infielder Freddy Galvis is really the only other Phillie worth tracking in the Latin American leagues. He's playing a lot and he's hitting .301. Aside from stellar glovework, which he undoubtedly can deliver, a high average is all one can really ask. In the post-steroid era, it feels a little like batting average, particularly average combined with glove, are back en vogue again. The Phils are hoping they made a fashion-forward call with Ben Revere, who hit .294 in 2011 and was a speed-aided .326 hitter in six minor league seasons. That's nothing to sneeze at, no matter how he does it.
Ross: Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday via twitter that the Phils have picked up the pace on free agent outfielder Cody Ross, who is said to be hunting something in the neighborhood of three years, $25 million. Which brings me to my final point ...
Short contracts: The Phils haven't been sucked into the abyss of committing big years and big dollars to older free agents. Granted, Mike Adams is 34, but he's a top-shelf set-up guy they'll reportedly give $12 million over two years only if he passes a very critical physical. If the deal comes to fruition, I'm glad the Phils didn't over think the eighth inning when Adams was right under their noses.
The eighth is the one area where the Phils definitely needed a veteran.
Look at the rest of these deals: a year for Michael Young, a season-to-season plan in center field with a 24-year-old Revere, John Lannan reportedly on a one-year flyer. Credit the Phils, so far, for staying away from this death trap of a free agent class as they look toward youth, or part-time youth, for at least one of the corner outfield positions. I'm excited that at least 2/3 of the starting outfield figures to not be past their prime.
At some point, you have to see what your prospects are made of. This is that year.