Long Odds for Halladay

Roy HalladayRoy Halladay spoke optimistically yesterday about his chances to pitch again this season, but optimism and reality don’t always go hand in hand.

That holds especially true when the pitcher turns 36 next week and has thrown 2,721 2/3 innings in the big leagues and 641 innings in the minor leagues. Cliff Lee stated the obvious Monday, when he said Halladay has fired a lot of bullets. And then came some troubling statistics provided by the folks at Fangraphs, regarding pitchers Halladay’s age with shoulder injuries.

In short, it’s not good.

Players over the age of 35 that went on the DL for any sort of shoulder injury only averaged 59 innings over the course of the rest of their career. So if Roy Halladay pitches 60 innings next year, he’ll be ahead of the game.

There are worse ways to slice the numbers. Of the 62 old pitchers that have gone on the DL for a shoulder injury since 2002, 32 never pitched another inning. 44 of them never managed 50 innings over the rest of their careers. A grand total of six starting pitchers managed more than 100 innings — John Smoltz (106), Pedro Martinez (153.2), Kenny Rogers (173.2), John Burkett (181.2), Tim Wakefield (424.1), and Orlando Hernandez (438.1).

I have referred to Halladay as the Terminator because he is machine-like, never tiring, always working, continually trying to find ways to win. He really is that intense. He really does work that hard. I remember waiting a long time to speak with him following a poor start in San Francisco on April 26, 2010. While we waited we wondered if Halladay was not doing his typical postgame workout, but flogging himself instead for a subpar performance. But the reality is Halladay turns 36 next week and has thrown a lot of pitches. If I had to bet on anybody overcoming them, I’d bet on Halladay. But the odds are incredibly long as the numbers show.

Either way, it will be interesting to watch. Can he come back this season? If he does, what kind of team will he come back to? The Phillies could be in the thick of the postseason hunt or a shell of the team that opens a four-game series tonight in Arizona.

“It’s no secret, we all know how hard Roy works and what he means to this team,” Chase Utley said. “Clearly, we’re not only playing for ourselves, but we’re playing for him as well.”

11 Comments

It would be a terrible shame if the Phillies can’t win this year for him. This last series in SF was a good indicator of what this team is capable of. Even the loss yesterday wasn’t a huge disspointment based on their 9th inning comeback. I see a trade happening for a reliable 4-5 starter to help get these guys back into contention. Let’s hope Roy can beat the odds!!

I wished only a starter could salvage this team. I’m afraid the problem goes much deeper. As far as Doc I wish him all the luck in world. If he never pitches for us again I hope he can come back. A great pitcher, hard worker, and stand up person. Thanks for the memories. Hope there are some more.

Yup, I agree. Average age oif the infield, 34 or so but in baseball years it might as well be 75. Outfield is three unproven guys. Catcher is fine but also graybearded. Bench – meh. Our day has come and gone.

Well, even the most optimistic of us thought that Doc had to pitch like Doc for the Phils to have a prayer of making the postseason. That prayer has taken a huge hit, even if he can come back later this season and pitch in any possible postseason. Doc pitched 4 games this season where he gave up crooked numbers to the opposing team and put the games out of reach. That is part of the reason the Phils have 4 more losses than wins this season.

I believ the Phils actually have a better chance of winning with Cloyd than they did with the 2013 version of Doc. Doc went out there and gave up 7-8 runs in two innings and put the games out of reach 4 times this season. Cloyd has good stuff and he is an unknown commodity, which usually benefits the pitcher over the hitters. AS we have seen with Pettibone so far. We’ll have to see how Chooch calls the game tonight. Even if Chooch is hitting like Mendoza’s kid, he can still help the Phils win if he can harness Cloyd’s pitches and call a great game.

Also as I posted late last night on the game wrap-up board, the Phils are 3-1 in games started by their 6th (YES 6th!) starter Pettibone, so it’s not inconceivable that they win a game for their 7th starter Cloyd. The Phils have two rookies in their starting rotation now. That should be a death sentence for their postseason hopes, but for some reason, this team comes through for the bottom-of-the-rotation starters, but not the top-of-the-rotation starters, especially Cole.

The Phils are currently 6-16 in games started by their so-called Aces and 10-4 in games started by Kyle and the other guys. Cloyd is now one of the “other guys”. If the trend continues, it’ll be better for the Phils but worse for Cole. If Cliff Lee can win his next game, the Phils will be 4-4 in games started by him.

The bullpen is also a culprit. They have a record of 0-5 in games that were started by the Aces. They are 4-2 in games started by everyone else. That includes the recent loss by Bastardo in San Fran.

The run support also seems to favor Kyle et al and even the pen in games started by those guys. THAT includes the 2 runs they got to tie the Giants up in that game they eventually lost.

Of course, we all want to know why this is happening. I have no idea. I don’t think it is as simple as the hitters thinking they don’t need to score as many runs for Cole, Doc and Cliff. Also, the pen is responsible to win every tied game they inherit, no matter who starts, YET they are 0-5 in all games that were decided when the game was tied or when the pen blew a save opportunity in games started by the Aces. Any time you see something striking like that, it makes you wonder what is going on….

Erich, in reference to Kendrick, Utley said several days ago that “it seems like every game, he definitely gives us a chance to win”. Whether or not Utley realized it, the negative implication is that certain pitchers do not give the Phillies the chance to win. I don’t believe either Lee or Halladay have the “lack of offense” crutch to fall back on considering how bad they have been when they have been bad. Hamel has a little more room to complain but not much. Regardless of who the pitchers is, home runs and walks are all on them.

Lee’s statistics are more or less on par with last year – I certainly wouldn’t consider him “bad” by any stretch of the imagination…

Doc’s apology to the phans was amazing. We already know the quality of pitcher and person he is, but to do something like that goes above and beyond the call of duty. I wonder how many of the other pitchers/players/manager/coaches/GM/etc. feel the same way…. Roy Halladay is in a league all by himself. I hope we will be able to look back at this apology and say that it was the turning point for the season. I hope the phans back home will keep selling out games and cheer for the Fightin’s.

Erich, the Phillies have sold out only two of their 18 home games so far this season, the home opener and a Sunday game against the Marlins on May, 5 which by the way, Halladay pitched.

Let’s see how the phans respond to Doc’s apology and compliments……

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