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Bastardo To Solidify Pirates' Pen

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) - When the Pirates traded reliever Justin Wilson to the Yankees to get a starting catcher, that opened up a spot for a lefty in the bullpen.

About a month later, the Bucs traded for one of the best left-handed specialists in the game, Antonio Bastardo from the Phillies.

The 29-year-old is 20-18 in his career with a 3.72 ERA and 324 strikeouts in 259 innings. More importantly, Bastardo allows lefties to hit .185 and his strikeout to walk ratio is 2.70.

Bastardo gave up runs in 3 of his first 4 Spring Training games, but in his last four appearances, no runs, no walks, just 2 hits and 8 strikeouts. Bastardo says he is calmer now on the mound and was working on some mechanical issues in early March.

The former Phillie says his new teammates and coaches have been welcoming, "I feel like I've been here for a while already, I just feel comfortable here."

Three times, Bastardo has been on playoff teams and he thinks the 2015 Pirates can be his fourth.

"I feel like they are confident and I'm happy to be a part of that confidence that the manager and everyone has," Bastardo said. "I think we are going to be good during the season."

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