Bastardo trying to shut out trade rumors

Bastardo trying to shut out trade rumors

PHILADELPHIA -- Fifteen scouts had seats for Cliff Lee's start Monday night at Citizens Bank Park, but not everybody came to see him.

Some came to see other Phillies players available before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, including left-hander Antonio Bastardo. If a team needs relief help, it almost certainly has contacted the Phillies about him.

In fact, Bastardo seems to be one of the likeliest Phillies to be traded before the Deadline. Entering Tuesday, he was 4-3 with a 3.30 ERA in 43 appearances this season. Left-handers have hit just .140 against him, while right-handers have hit .168, which makes him much more than a situational lefty. He makes just $2 million this season, so his contract is not an issue. He also does not become a free agent until after the 2015 season, so he is not a two-month rental.

"I'm just staying focused on what I can do and how I can pitch," Bastardo said of the trade speculation. "I'm just trying to get people out. If I can distract myself from that stuff, I won't let it get into my mind. I don't want to lose my focus."

Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval hit a line drive off Bastardo's left forearm Monday. Bastardo finished the scoreless inning and had the forearm wrapped Tuesday afternoon, but he said it felt much better. A few hours later, he replaced Roberto Hernandez with two outs and a runner on first in the sixth inning.

Bastardo allowed a single to Hector Sanchez before getting pinch-hitter Joaquin Arias to fly out to right field to end the inning.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Erik Bacharach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.