Is It Mental? Or Is This Just Halladay?

Roy HalladayThe longer this lasts the less the words will mean.

But Roy Halladay insists his problems are fixable. He allowed six hits, seven runs, three walks and one home run in four-plus innings last night in a 7-2 loss to the Mets. He has a 14.73 ERA after two starts. His poor start last night followed his poor start Wednesday in Atlanta, where he allowed five runs in 3 1/3 innings. That start followed a troubling spring training, which followed a mediocre 2012 plagued by injuries. Halladay said his problems are mostly mental at this point. He is pressing. He is trying too hard. Maybe. But it is highly unusual for somebody of his caliber to struggle like this. He just might be out of bullets.

No, he insisted, it’s mental.

“One of my biggest mentors, [sports psychiatrist] Harvey Dorfman, used to always tell me, ‘When you’re trying to catch a bird, if you’re flailing at it, trying to grab for it, you’re never going to catch it. You have to hold your hands out and let it land in your hands. And it’s the same way with pitching,” Halladay said. “Especially when you want something so bad you’d do anything to get it. But sometimes the best course of action is to prepare yourself and let it come to you. But it’s tough because you care about the game, you care about your teammates, you care about the fans, you care about the organization. You want it badly.”

The Phillies continue to maintain Halladay is healthy. If he is healthy, what is the plan then? To me the plan is obvious: continue to let him pitch. Putting him in the bullpen isn’t an option because he’ll get such little work he won’t be able to fix anything. I don’t see the Phillies coming up with a phantom injury and sending him to the minor leagues, either. I think they will continue to express their faith in him, giving him the respect he deserves and crossing their fingers like everybody else that this is just a bad stretch. They really have no other option. If they felt they had somebody to step in and pitch successfully at the beginning of the season, they probably wouldn’t  have signed John Lannan to a one-year, $2.5 million contract. But they felt they lacked depth so they got him.

If the Phillies plan to win they need Halladay to pitch better. That is obvious. But that means they’ve got to give him a chance to fix himself. He’s owed that much.

They just hope it happens soon. Sometimes following one of Kyle Kendrick‘s starts, Charlie Manuel will say, “Kendrick pitched a Kyle Kendrick-like game tonight.” He means six innings and three or four earned runs. Not terrible. Not great, either. Competitive. Keeping the team in the game. Giving them a chance to win. You’ve got to think the Phillies would kill for a “Kendrick-like” game from Halladay. Because the only thing he is doing right now is burying them early and giving them no chance to win.

23 Comments

It is so sad Zolecki on how a Halladay start has turned from breathing easy to holding your breath….It is scary how the 1st 7 games this team has at times made itself look so bad

number 1. you do not have to be a rocket scientist to see that doc is done. he should retire by july 4th. number 2. how bad does howard have to look before they bench him, at least against lefties. number 3. darin ruf is hitting over .300 with lhv and batting 4th. what does AMARO have against ruf. you cannot not tell me he is any worse playing left field than dom brown, and he can hit left handed pitching much better than howard. honestly, who would you rather see coming up to pinch hit darin ruf or the following, jmj, nix, carrera, etc.

(1) Doc is NOT done. He still has swing and miss stuff. He obviously needs to get his command under control. That should happen with repetition. Unfortunately, for us phans……until he gets his command back, he will be losing games that count.

(2) Ryan Howard. Even with his tight reconstructed Achilles tendon, Ryan hit better last year when he started playing. He should be 100%. His Grapefruit League stats were phenominal. I don’t know if he changed his swing or not, but he looked diffent. Now he’s back to being the guy who can’t hit any LHP. I hope he can rediscover that swing he had in FL.

(3) Ruf was sent down to do exactly what he’s doing there. Ruf is not ready to play outfield for the Phils…….The crazy thing is that Ruf is in a similar situation that Ryan was in when Thome was playing firstbase. The Phils traded Thome to make room for Ryan. If Ryan continues to suck all the way through April, would the Phils think of bringing in Ruf to play firstbase? Could they trade Ryan to an AL team who needs a DH? The Angels took on Vernon Wells’ contract. The Dodgers took on Carl Crawfords contract. There could be a taker out there.

(4)The Phils bench sucks because guys who supposed to be on the bench are actually starting. Kratz is no more an everyday catcher than I am. I’ll bet that Chooch is apologizing to all the pitchers after a Phils loss. He will be back to carry the team. As for Junior and Nix, they are opposite sides of the same coin, a penny. The Phils need dollar coins out there and those two guys to be planted firmly on the bench. That will happen when Delmon joins the tream.

Very sad situation. Out of bullets? Roy boy is toast
.

He says he’s healthy, but I wonder if he doesn’t meet his vesting option innings if he will eventually says he’s injuried, go on the DL & thus screw the team for the 20 mill next year. Stay tuned.

Steve, he had no chance to meet his vesting option before the season started, so that point is moot.

There isn’t a buy out either. Imagine that!

And if Cole was pitching well I doubt theyd be sweating it as much. What’s wrong with Hamels anyway?!

That’s a good point, Christian. If Cole is just mediocre, he’d be 2-0 because of all the runs the Phils have piled up in the games he has started. If the Phils are 4-3 and had beaten Atlanta twice out of three, there would be none of this doom and gloom. Cole in a way has caused the phanation to lose hope and stop coming to games. He turned out to be the wrong guy to pitch game one. He needs to straighten himself out and get back pitching like a CY Award candidate…

Yup, because Roy Halladay has never lied about anything. Sure, it’s 100% mental. This has absolutely nothing to do with his poor pitch location, lack of velocity, etc.

Sadly, this scenario seems like just Steve Carlton’s last days in pin stripes- a once great pitcher who refuses to acknowledge his best days are behind him.

Except Carlton made it through his age 39 season during which he was still productive.

My 73-89 pre-season prediction is looking generous about now….

Yeah, no kidding. I had Phillies at 69-93, which also seems optimistic.

I expect a massive firesale fairly soon when Ruben realizes that this team just won’t be able to compete with Atlanta and Washington, perhaps the two best teams in all of baseball right now.

Realistically, we should expect Cliff Lee, Carlos Ruiz and at least Papelbon (Detroit?) traded no later than May.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pap moved even earlier.

There will be a bidding war for Cliff Lee, both Rangers and Angels, and perhaps even the Reds should be in on him, a guy who could be the final piece of a World Series team.

You guys gloating about the Phils being as bad as you predicted they would be is pathetic. I can’t wait to cut and paste this post and shove it in your face later. The only problem is you only come here when the Phils are doing poorly. Some kind of phan, you are…..

Really? Lee, Ruiz and Papelbon will be traded no later than May?
Why are you here, other than to make inane, provocative posts?

Question for Todd Zolecki:

Phillies are already paying Halladay in excess of 20 million per year.

And you think Phillies “owe” Halladay anything?
“they’ve got to give him a chance to fix himself. He’s owed that much.”

Isn’t it the opposite?

Halladay owes Phillies to be a much better pitcher?

And Phillies should be able to do whatever they want with him, send him to the minors or the bullpen, because they’re paying Halladay a King’s ransom for it.

I can’t believe the reasoning behind thinking that Phillies owe Halladay anything at this point. He was great, the best pitcher of his generation. But now he’s clearly not.

By keeping sending Halladay out there, you’re gonna overuse the bullpen very quickly. Put an innings eater in there instead. At this point just about anyone is better than Halladay.

Well, I’m not giving up on Roy Halladay.

Well, we’re coming he’re a lot lately then. Since Phillies are doing quite bad.

The problem is with how the whole team is structured. Ruben Amaro is constantly signing and trading for players with great track records, but who aren’t expected to improve a whole lot.

In other words, he buys high and sells low.

It smells of panic, the way Singleton and Cosart were traded for Pence. Ruben’s constantly been looking for quick fixes, never trying to build anything long term.

And the multi year contracts he’s signed, have been with players like Papelbon, Rollins, Howard, Halladay, Lee and Hamels. Guys who are at their max value, and are bound to decline.

You can’t honestly say that Cardinals, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Washington, Atlanta or Texas (just some teams on the top of my head) have worse teams than Phillies right now. But they all got teams that have a significantly cheaper payroll than the Phillies while ALSO having a much better farm system.

So Phillies, for all the expensive salaries they currently got, don’t even got a roster that lives up to that money, while the farm system is depleted. Worst of both worlds.

Of course Phillies fans are frustrated because of this.

If Ruben decides to trade all the valuable assets tomorrow for prospects, I would support that 100%.

Why does everybody make a big deal about how much money the players make?? It isnt your money– you go to the games and buy crap there and on line and watch all the commercials when the game is on tv… you dont have a stake in the money paid to players. The organization is making money hand over fist and they are striving to put a winning team out there so that we continue to generate revenue. It’s a business, and it is NOT YOURS. If Montgomery didnt think Ruben was doing a good job, he’d be fired already.

He was sweating like a pig in the Mets game and the temp was cool. Don’t tell me that comes from a mental condition. What’s he gonna be like when the ambient temp hits 100 degrees?

“The only problem is you only come here when the Phils are doing poorly. Some kind of phan, you are…..”
By ErichH1 on April 9, 2013 5:32 pm

I don’t know about you but nobody pats me on the back when I do the job I’m getting a paycheck for. But I’m sure I would catch hell if I screwed up; because in my job folks die if I screw up. Phans praise ball players when they do what they get paid handsomely to do, and criticize them when they don’t. It’s just human nature.

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