Any Chance for Good News with Doc?
I have been asked what I expect from Roy Halladay‘s visit in Los Angeles with orthopedist Lewis Yocum.
My answer: I don’t know, but it is tough to be optimistic.
The best-case scenario is what exactly? A little inflammation, he stops throwing for a while and gradually makes his way back? I guess that would be considered good news, but Halladay has not been effective consistently since 2011. He had three good starts (1.71 ERA) before the last two, but he still fell behind most hitters and worked a lot of deep counts. So even when the results have been solid, he has not been the surgeon he had been in the past. I’m just not sure how much a break from throwing will help.
The worst-case scenario is a torn rotator cuff or something of that nature, and Halladay’s season and possibly career is over. In that case, the Phillies’ chances to make the postseason takes a significant hit, although I contend even with a healthy and effective Halladay this team’s chances have not looked good because of the anemic offense. The Phillies were 4-7 during Halladay’s solid three-start run. The offense averaged 2.7 runs per game in that stretch, but please continue to blame the pitching coach and pitching staff for this team’s problems.
Whether it be wear and tear from a long and productive career (this is a likely scenario for me, his shoulder is just shot) or much worse, Halladay’s struggles are sad to see. I would never claim to know him personally. I know him only from our interactions in the clubhouse. But he is a good guy and a ridiculously hard worker. The stories that have been written about him, the comments people have made about his work ethic and how much he is respected, they have not been exaggerated. He lives up to the hype. So it is tough to watch a guy that has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball struggle like this. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he will get good news. I’m just not sure what that could be.
So who replaces Halladay?
My bet is Triple-A left-hander Adam Morgan. I’ve been hearing how he’s not on the 40-man roster, but so what? Morgan (1-2, 3.89 ERA) has the best numbers of the Triple-A starters, although he has struggled in each of his last three starts. But he has performed better overall than Tyler Cloyd, Ethan Martin and B.J. Rosenberg (Cloyd has pitched better in his last two starts. He last pitched Friday.) None of those three have an ERA less than 5.11. I also don’t believe Double-A Reading left-hander Jesse Biddle is an option at this point.