March 13, 2013
Trouble at the Doc's Office
Despite an even .500 finish last season and a similar 81-win projection for 2013, PECOTA gives the Phillies a one-in-four chance of reaching the postseason this year. Those odds would plummet, though, if Roy Halladay were unable to recover from a down season marred by shoulder trouble to do his 4.0 WARP part.
Should Phillies fans, fantasy owners be concerned about Roy Halladay?
After holding opponents to six hits and two walks over 8 1/3 innings in his first three spring starts, Halladay suffered a thumping at the hands of the Tigers yesterday afternoon, despite facing a Detroit lineup that was without Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Austin Jackson. He coughed up seven runs over just 2 2/3 innings of work, issuing four walks that created jams and allowing six hits (including two home runs, one of which was a Ramon Santiago grand slam) that turned the outing into a full-blown disaster.
Even more worrisome than Halladay’s box-score line, however, was the stuff that he brought to the mound on Tuesday. Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the 35-year-old’s fastball was “sitting between 86 and 88 [mph],” and he later spoke with a scout who clocked him at 84-85 mph. Either measurement would represent a significant step backward from Halladay’s 2012 sinker velocity, which ticked back up to 91 mph after his 42-game stint on the shelf to nurse a lat strain. And the control issues, which led to an extremely rare, four-walk outing for the northpaw (who had only twice doled out at least that many free passes in a regular-season start since 2009), also remain unexplained.
One scout who was in attendance at Clearwater, Florida, told ESPN’s Jayson Stark that Halladay had “no finish on anything,” and the right-hander later attributed his dismal arsenal to fatigue. Halladay refuted any notion that he is dealing with pain or soreness, and instead blamed his 69-pitch fiasco on an enhanced conditioning program, which made him “lethargic” before he even took the mound on Tuesday.
His manager and pitching coach, however, seemed more troubled by the lack of bite on Halladay’s stuff. The latter, Rich Dubee, believes that the righty’s delivery was the culprit, telling reporters—including MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki—after the game that his mechanics had “no tempo.” Meanwhile, Charlie Manuel expressed concern but was reassured by Halladay’s assertion that he is healthy, and the skipper expressed confidence that the velocity and command would return once he is stretched out and able to tackle his normal workload.