Phillies, Antonio Bastardo avoid arbitration

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Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies have avoided arbitration with reliever Antonio Bastardo by agreeing to a one-year, $2 million contract.

Bastardo requested $2.5 million and the Phillies countered at $1.675 million, so they’re settling slightly below the midpoint.

Bastardo’s season ended in early August when he received a 50-game suspension for Biogenesis involvement. He threw 43 innings with a 2.32 ERA and 47/21 K/BB ratio before the suspension and has a 3.12 ERA in 153 innings for the Phillies since the beginning of 2011.

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”