CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Antonio Bastardo hasn't had his normal velocity this spring.
The Phillies have said he is healthy, although he missed some time recently because of tightness in his pitching elbow, which they said was caused by dehydration. But continuing the spring trend, the left-hander allowed two hits, three runs and one walk in two-thirds of an inning Tuesday in a 5-4 victory over the Pirates at Bright House Field.
"I would say there's mild concern -- mild concern that I'm not seeing velocity like I should be seeing," Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "But at the same time, I think we've got that disease going through our camp where we've got a lot of dead arms right now. That happens a lot. I know a number of our starters and relievers have been talking about their arms starting to feel heavy, which is good. You've got to run through that some time. Some guys catch it early in the spring, some guys catch it late, some guys catch it when you walk out the door and get up north.
"We've got a lot of guys with a heavy arm, but that's fine. The fact of the matter is if you've got a heavy arm during the season, you've got to know how to pitch with it. You're not going to be 100 percent every time. You've got to know how to pitch when your stuff might be a little bit short."
But Bastardo is especially important, because he is the only left-hander guaranteed a spot in the bullpen. Left-handers Raul Valdes (2.08 ERA in seven appearances) and Joe Savery (4.26 ERA in five appearances) remain in camp.
Dubee said Bastardo is fine, physically.
"Oh, he's fine that way, yeah," Dubee said. "I'd just like to see more velocity. But again, I don't know that he's at that point yet, arm-strength-wise, or he's at this point where he's got a bit of a dead arm."