Bring Back Halladay or Not?

Halladay Makes HistoryLast night could have been Roy Halladay‘s final home start for the Phillies.

He allowed four hits and one run in six innings against the Marlins, although you should not look deeply into the results. The Marlins have a .627 OPS, which is the lowest mark in baseball since the Blue Jays had a .617 OPS in 1981. It also ranks 34th lowest out of 2,042 teams since 1920. And the Marlins have averaged 3.21 runs per game, which is the third-lowest mark in baseball since 1980 and 29th lowest in baseball since 1920.

If you watched the game last night you watched one of the worst offenses in baseball history.

But the big question is this: Should this be Halladay’s final home start or should the Phillies bring him back next season?

The trick is finding the magic number, if they think there is any chance he can get out big-league hitters consistently. It would be asinine to sign him to a one-year, $10 million contract, considering his struggles, health issues and age. But what about a one-year, $2.5 million contract with incentives? What about a one-year, $4 million deal? There is a number where the Phillies can bring back Halladay and feel the risks are worth the salary.

And there are plenty of risks. Halladay has hit 10 batters in 61 2/3 innings this season after hitting 71 in 2,687 1/3 innings from 1998-2012. He also issued three walks to increase his season total to 34. He is averaging 4.96 walks per nine innings after averaging 1.86 walks per nine innings from 1998-2012. Halladay has made 12 starts this season. Of the 178 pitchers that have made 10 or more starts, his 6.71 ERA is 174th. Of the 143 pitchers that have made 30 or more starts the past two seasons, Halladay’s 5.12 ERA is 137th.

His command isn’t there.

His velocity isn’t there. His fastball topped at 87 mph in the first inning.

We keep hearing about arm slot and how it will take time to relearn. We keep hearing how it’s remarkable Halladay is back from right shoulder surgery in three months, and how he will benefit from the offseason. But this is a production business, so the Phillies must move past the warm feelings they have for Halladay and make some cold decisions.

If the Phillies decide Halladay isn’t worth the risk, how do they fill his spot in the rotation? We know it will include Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Miguel Gonzalez, but the final two spots are up in the air. Kyle Kendrick could be back, although he has struggled the last two-plus months and has a right shoulder issue. Do the Phillies think highly enough of Jonathan Pettibone to just hand him a spot? There are free agent pitchers out there. Starters like A.J. Burnett (36), Tim Lincecum (29), Bronson Arroyo (36), Matt Garza (29), Phil Hughes (27), Scott Kazmir (29), Paul Maholm (31) and Ricky Nolasco (30).

I only take a shot at Doc on a very low-risk contract filled with incentives because if he pitches poorly you can release him and move on. But bringing back Halladay at any price only adds one more question mark to this team’s roster in 2014: if Ryan Howard can come back from knee surgery … if Jimmy Rollins can come back from the worst season of his career … if Chase Utley can continue to produce and stay healthy … if Domonic Brown can replicate his All-Star season … if Mike Adams can come back from shoulder surgery … if Cody Asche can succeed in his first full season … if Gonzalez can pitch … if the youngsters in the bullpen can carry their success into next season … etc. Maybe the better risk is spending more money on a pitcher with a better track record over the past two years. It would be one less question for the Phillies entering Spring Training.

So what’s your magic number for Doc? Or is that number zero?

28 Comments

Time to move on. Lets get another B pitcher.

It’s such a tough call. The hope is with rest and rehab this winter he can gain a little velocity on his fastball. If he can get it to 90mph consistently than maybe he can function. I think the most I would offer is a 5 million base and load it with incentives, but that may even be too much.

I’m eating a hoagie from Wawa right now and it’s DELICIOUS, LOL! Follow me on Twitter

You just made me homesick….. not the Wawa hoagie, but Wawa itself. I missed being able to by kaiser rolls or pickles or sliced deli meats and cheeses from the local convenience stores. Only in Philly…….

I would bring Halladay back on a 1 year incentive filled deal if he wants a chance to win a ring then he’ll have to hope a contender will take a chance but I want him back in Philly if possible.

Bring him back. The Halladay of ’14 will be better than the Halladay of ’13 (how much better?). Now is not the time to spend $$$ or prospects for mediocre free agent pitchers. At least with Doc, we got some idea what we’ll have.

The point is that you don’t know!

I hate sitting here arm-chair quarterbacking this early in the next season, but here we are. I like Halladay as a presence in the bullpen, but his starts have just not been that good this year. I like the idea of adding Jamie Moyer to the pitching-coach staff and moving on. Sure, it looks a bit like rebuilding, but I see the bones of another good team emerging. Ditch Rollins (PLEASE!) and Howard, hire some proven talent in the pitching slots, get.rid.of Pettibone, like yesterday (he’s a bad seed), and let’s move on (but not without Chooch and Utley).

I agree – the issue is less with Doc than with rest of team. Too many questions, they don’t need one more. Let him go and pick up someone with a better recent track record to help shore up the back end of the rotation. If the team does not start hitting better, especially when it counts, it won’t matter who they pick up as the 4th pitcher anyway. Given the (likely) continued quality of both ATL and WAS, I think it is time for about a complete overhaul of the team. PHI is currently a long way from being dominant in this division. A move here or there is not likely to change that. I like their younger players – seems like some real potential in many cases. I would let Chooch walk (no matter how much I love him) and let the younger guys give it a go. I would start season with Rollins, but not hesitate to bring in the heir apparent – after next season, he has to be gone, or at least reduced from full-time. Ditto with Howard – sad fact is, unless he magically returns to 2007-08 form, at some point they will have to eat the contract and ship him out. After next year, they are down to “just” 2 more years – if he is still only mediocre (at best), I would hope they would get him out and make room for the new kids. Chase was the one bright spot in the infield all year, but we have seen how quickly that can change. I would hope that they have a plan of who will be filling his shoes after next year, just in case.

I do not see where bring back Halladay at a reduced price and adding another starter are mutually exclusive as long as the two in combination amount to no more than the $20 million Halladay is being paid this year. Of course Halladay should get the short end of the stick, no more than $5 million.

Pherris, you’re kidding, right? Did you read the blog? Todd clearly stated the Phils are expecting Hamels, Lee, Kendrick, and Gonzalez to be in their starting rotation for 2014. That would leave one spot, not two. Even if they need two starters come opening day, I doubt heavily that Ruben is looking at spending $20 million for the two pitchers. I doubt he would be thinking that $20 million was the budget for the two. He could go over that

Bring him back. Give him an incentive-laden deal with an option for a 2nd year.

His arm strength will come back with rest in the off-season. Give the guy a chance to win a World Series here. I’d much rather spend $10-15 million on Halladay than $8 or 9 million on Kendrick.

And if they can sign Matt Garza? Give that a shot. Hamels, Lee, Halladay, Gonzales, and Pettibone/Biddle sounds pretty solid.

P.S. Amaro is going to go all-in on trading for Stanton this off-season. My guess is that they’re pumping up Franco’s trade value for a deal like that.

P.P.S. Add a healthy Ryan Howard to this offense and it would be scary good.

I’d bring him back for $4 million on a one-year deal with incentives. That’s a reasonable price in today’s marketplace. All those other guys? They are going to get multi-year deals for much more money. One other thing they simple must do is to re-sign Chooch. Yes, he’s another player whose best days are gone but they have no one else at this point and there are zero sensible free-agent options. Sign him for two years and hope that Rupp, Joseph, or Valle progresses enough to take over at some point. Finally, let’s hope RAJ doesn’t trade half the team and entire farm system for Giancarlo Stanton – or anyone else, for that matter.

We released a otherwise healthy, albeit, old Steve Carlton. Think about that…..in 1986 we cut and ran from the GREATEST lefty of all time and replaced him with heir apparent Bruce Ruffin. 2013 Doc is in the same boat as far as I am concerned. His arm is much, much older than his age. His numbers are what they are and all the off season work in the world are not going to improve them. He is a great guy, etc., but you have to cut the cord and move on. You need to see what others can do and I really hope we let 2014 be a rebuilding year and allow the kids to play. they need to fail a little along the way so let it happen and see what we got in house. We are miles from a playoff team, so let’s rebuild the right way. We keep getting to the end of these huge veteran contracts and then we resign them based on past performance or potential rebirth. WTF? I am sure Ruiz will get a multi-year deal in the end, too so I don’t see the phils not resigning Doc….what the heck….let’s put the band back together for 2014! (sigh) We just can’t let go…deep down I know she still loves me despite hanging all over a new guy.

I would bring him back with 4-5 million base and lots of incentives. Ruiz needs to come back. They don’t have a catcher that will be ready for probably 2 yrs. Don’t know who will be out there this year. All of the strength in the farm are blocked by Howard, Utley, and Rollins. It looks like the outfield will be set with what we have. Start the season with Rollins. Let him get his records but don’t let him play enough to be vested for another year. Pick up a couple of good bull pen people and possibly ditch Pappy if anybody will take him.

Offer 4 mil with good incentives for winning 10, 12, 14, and 15+ games. 15 wins in 2014 should be worth 15-18 mil. If he doesn’t like it, then it’s time to say thank you and goodby.

Wins aren’t in the pitchers control. Incentives for pitchers are usually starts and innings pitched.

Wins aren’t in a pitchers control? Your joking, right?

pherris, you show your lack of baseball IQ almost every day. Ask Bob Gibson if he was in control of wins and losses in the year he had a 1.12 ERA, yet stil lost 10 games. All a pitcher can do is give his best and sometimes, even when he is at the top of his game, it isn’t enough. Do you seriously believe that Kyle Kendrick pitched better than Cole Hamels this season simply because he has more wins? You’re joking, right?

You pedantic asshole. What year did Gibson have an ERA of 1.12 and 10 losses?

pherris, stop being a fool. What does the year matter? How about two years ago when Felix Hernandez went 13-12, yet was the consensus choice as the best pitcher in the AL, and it wasn’t even close? It is common knowledge that wins and losses are a poor indication of how good a pitcher is. I suppose you think that CC Sabathia got robbed that season in the Cy Young voting. But only someone with zero basball IQ would think that.

phan52, stop being an asshole. I am still waiting to hear from you in which year Gibson lost 10 games and had an ERA of 1.12. Are you going to enlighten us or just keep shooting off your mouth?

Excuuuuse me!! 9 games, 10 games, what’s the difference?

The point is that a guy who gave up 2 or less runs in 28 games in 1968 only won 22 of them while losing 9 that season. Felix Hernandez gave up 2 or fewer runs in 25 games in 2010 and won 13 games, while losing 12. W-L are not the definitive stat of those or any season, for that matter. But people with any baseball IQ already knew that.

For inquiring minds, I knew that the flamer phan52 was referring to Bob Gibson’s 1968 season in which he had an ERA of 1.12 accompanied by 9 not 10 losses. But what the Flamer phan52 fails to mention is that Gibson won 22 games that year as well.

Left, in his great 1972 season, lost 10 (winning 27) wins are only partially the pitcher’s doing. I think WHIP, ERA, starts, innings and Ks are better ways of judging a pitcher’s performance. I also don’t think Pherris and Phan need to bitch slap each other over something so obvious. Let the fight be over whether Ruff’s K’s outweigh his OBP and power or not

I think Pherris is overvaluing wins and phan 54 is undervaluing them.

Just for the records: the bullpen lost 59% of the game in 2013. This should be the major concern for 2014.
Utley had 26.4% HR/AB. Brown: 18.3. Howard: 26.0. Ruf: 18.00 They shoold look for ways of getting Ruf in some regular position. He could contribute with 30+ Hr
in 2014.
Aric P. Lopez
tecspe@aol.com

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