By Nick Tricome
UPDATE: Phillies president David Montgomery issued a statement on Bastardo, following the official announcement of the suspensions.
"Obviously, the Phillies are very disappointed to learn of Antonio Bastardo's violation of Major League Baseball's Drug Program. We strongly believe in the Program and look forward to a time when performance-enhancing drugs are completely out of baseball. Hopefully the sanctions announced today will bring us closer to that day. We respect the fact that Antonio has acknowledged his serious mistake and accepted his 50-game suspension."
MLB commissioner Bud Selig also issued a statement concerning all of the suspensions handed out on Monday as a result of the Biogenesis scandal, which you can read by clicking here.
Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez have been the poster children for the Biogenesis scandal, but that doesn't mean the Phillies will take a hit from it all.
With suspensions set to be announced at 3 P.M. on Monday, word has gotten out that Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo will be one of the players getting a 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's substance policy.
The news is a bit of a shocker, considering that his name hadn't shown up in the scandal or anything related to performance-enhancing drugs before this. Yet here he is now, being named as one of the players who received PEDs from the Biogenesis clinic in Miami.
Bastardo has reportedly accepted the suspension. meaning he will not be looking to appeal, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter).
Among players accepting 50-game suspensions: #Rangers’ Cruz, #Tigers’ Peralta, #Phlllies’ Bastardo, #Mets’ Valdespin, #Padres’ Cabrera.The Phillies have Monday off, but will open up a series with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night. After that game, the Phillies will have 50 games left on the schedule, which means Bastardo is out for the rest of the season.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 5, 2013
With the Phillies in a free-fall right now, having lost 13 of their last 14 games, losing Bastardo for the rest of the year doesn't really help their cause.
The bullpen has been one of the Phillies' biggest weaknesses this season, with an ERA that's good for 28th in the Majors.
Bastardo has been one of the more consistent relievers in the bullpen with a 2.32 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP in 48 appearances this season.
The 27-year old pitcher signed a one-year, $1.4 million deal with the Phillies back in January to avoid arbitration.
The suspension and new link to PEDs are now notes in Bastardo's career that could sway whether or not the Phillies decide to keep him in 2014 and beyond.
(Image from ThatBall'sOuttaHere.com)