Results tagged ‘ Rich Dubee ’
Charlie Manuel asked a reporter this afternoon if he had seen Mike Adams throw his morning bullpen session at Carpenter Complex.
Manuel raised his eyebrows.
“He was throwing pretty good,” he said excitedly.
Adams revved up for his session, which is good news although it is just a couple days into camp. Adams signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Phillies to be their setup man, but he is recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in October, which involved removing a rib near his right shoulder. Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter had the same surgery last year, but he is going to miss the 2013 season and possibly never pitch again because his pre-surgery symptoms returned.
Adams said he is not concerned he could share a similar fate.
“When I heard about Carp, my first thought was, ‘OK, what happened?’” Adams said. “Carp and I had the same surgeon do our surgeries, so that was in my favor a little bit in terms of information. When I first had my surgery I spoke with the doc and he told me he did Carp’s surgery, and I was kind of excited because I knew he came back pretty quickly. But when I brought that up, the doctor was like, ‘Well, I wish he would’ve waited a little longer to come back. I think he came back a little too early.’ At the time, we didn’t know this was going to be the result. At the same time, everyone has a different kind of severity — how long the nerve and vessels were being pinched, how badly. So his severity could’ve been worse than mine.
“I talked to (Phillies right-hander Aaron) Cook yesterday, and he had the surgery as well back in 2004, and his was very severe. He said his surgery took like nine hours, whereas mine took an hour-and-a-half. So there are different severities. That’s something I really looked into when I first found out about it. Hopefully the severity of mine wasn’t as bad and I can move on.”
But the Phillies are going to take things slowly with Adams.
“He probably won’t get into (Grapefruit League) games as fast as some guys,” Rich Dubee said. “But he’s really not going to need as much. He doesn’t need 15 to 16 innings, I don’t think. But he’s coming along fine.”
“I feel great,” he said. “I don’t really see any reason that anything is going to be a problem. When we first got here we said I’ll take it slow. I don’t see a reason to really throw in any of those games in the first week. The last thing I want to do is have 15-18 innings entering the season. The last few years I’ve gotten about 9-10 innings and felt great, so that’s what I’m going with entering this season. … But when I’m throwing the ball I don’t notice anything that feels different. I’m throwing the ball a lot better than last year, I’m know that.”
Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee is one of the few people to see Roy Halladay throw a baseball since last season, when he suffered one of the worst years of his career. Phillies pitchers and catchers reported to camp today in Clearwater, and I had a chance to speak with Dubee for a few minutes about Halladay and the rest of the pitching staff.
Here is what Dubee said about Halladay. Check MLB.com later for more about what he said about the rest of the rotation, the three job openings in the bullpen and more.
Q: You’ve actually seen Roy throw. How has he looked?
A: His spikes are starting to get dirty. That’s all. Really, he’s thrown a couple bullpens.
Q: So you can’t say if he’s better, worse or the same as he was at this time last year?
A: I know he’s talking better. He feels a lot stronger . It’s going to take him a while to put all the pieces together in his delivery like anybody, but that’s what Spring Training is for. So he’s got to find that comfort zone. But as far as his arm feeling well and his strength feeling good, he’s progressed nicely.
Q: You’ve worked with hundreds of pitchers, so you’ve heard plenty of them say how great they feel and how great their rehab or workouts have been only to see them look the same once they start pitching. So why do you believe Roy will be different?
A: I think Doc … we’ve got a pretty good rapport. I think he’s understanding about being honest on where he’s at and what he’s feeling. I think he’s going to lead us in the right direction in how he’s feeling.
Q: Are you confident he can get back to what he was? Or are you as uncertain as anybody else?
A: I don’t know what he’s going to be. I know one thing: there’s going to be an animal on the mound competing. Again, I think all the offseason stuff has put him in a much better position to be who he used to be. Whether he can come all the way back to that, that’s what time will tell.
Halladay suffered the second-shortest start of his career Saturday against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park. He cited spasms in the back of his right shoulder as a culprit, only adding to his list of frustrations this season. But after throwing 32 pitches in a bullpen session today, Rich Dubee pronounced Halladay ready to go.
“Right now, absolutely,” Dubee said. “Unless he has some type of setback, if the spasms came back or whatever. But today was very encouraging.”
Dubee said Halladay, who spent time on the disabled list earlier this season with a strained right latissimus dorsi, looked like a completely different pitcher than the one that lasted just 1 2/3 innings against the Braves.
He reiterated if there is no risk of injury and Halladay wants to pitch, Halladay should pitch.
“This guy is super accountable,” Dubee said. “He feels like he should carry his end of the bargain. And he has. First of all, he came back faster than we expected from the injury with one rehab start. Second of all, there are a lot of guys in this game that wouldn’t have come back as early, if come back, period. They would have just laid down for the year, and this guy wasn’t about to lay down.
“This is the top of accountability. He isn’t happy with his season. He came here to win, and he feels like he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain. I think he’s held up more than his end of the bargain just coming back from the injury that he came back from. But he’s going to do anything he can to come back next year. He is open minded and we’re going to put together a program that hopefully that is going to fix all this.”
Dubee said Halladay had no symptoms of the spasms that derailed him Saturday. He also said it wasn’t the first time he had them this season.
“You guys don’t know half of what goes on,” he said. “He’s fought this from time to time. He’s fought this at different times in his career, too. Why stuff crops up, who knows?”
Dubee said he hasn’t placed Halladay on a pitch count Saturday. Like always, he will let the flow of the game dictate how long he pitches.
Roy Halladay is pitching the rest of the season.
Halladay answered questions Saturday about the chances he might be shut down the remainder of the year, considering the team has no chance to make the postseason and Halladay missed seven weeks because of an injured right back muscle. After all, wouldn’t it make sense to save some bullets for next season when the games matter?
“We’re not thinking about doing that,” Charlie Manuel said. “I don’t have to answer that no more. He’s not going to get shut down.”
The Phillies said encasing Halladay in bubble wrap would be counterproductive.
“My goal right now for Roy Halladay is pitch on a regular basis and get back to being who he used to be,” Rich Dubee said. “He’s fought some injuries. He’s developed some bad habits. He’s got these two months to hopefully wean himself off those bad habits and retrain himself. That’s why it’s important for him to pitch. He’s healthy. He’s felt stronger than he has in a long time. He’s got to retrain himself so he gets back into that proper arm slot.”
Halladay’s arm angle dropped about six inches before he landed on the disabled list in May, a byproduct of compensating for the weakened latissimus dorsi muscle.
“You try doing that for five months,” Dubee said. “Try doing anything for five months. Walk upside down for five months then try to walk the right way. It’s going to take you a while to break that bad habit.”
Dubee said based on what he has seen from Halladay in his previous two starts he is convinced Halladay will return to prior form.
“Absolutely,” he said.
Halladay is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his last two starts, allowing nine hits, three runs, two walks and striking out 12 in 13 innings.
Of course, only time will tell. But if Dubee is right it will be good news for the 2013 Phillies.
He is getting closer.
He threw his second bullpen session before tonight’s game against the Mets at Citi Field. Halladay threw 56 pitches after throwing 33 Friday in Miami. Halladay could throw a few more bullpen sessions and pitch a few simulated games – skipping a rehab assignment altogether – before rejoining the rotation shortly after the All-Star break.
It would not be a surprise to see Halladay back as early as the July 16-18 series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, although the Phillies are keeping Halladay’s next steps to themselves. But Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said based on the way Halladay has thrown the ball he believes the strained right latissimus dorsi that landed him on the disabled list in May played a major role in his struggles this season.
So fans should see the old Halladay when he is back?
“I don’t know where he’ll be when he gets back,” Dubee said. “I hope he’s close to what he used to be, yeah. But the signs are leading that he’s doing very well.”
Actually, they do know. They’re just not saying.
- He has allowed five or more earned runs in three consecutive starts, carrying an 8.64 ERA in that span.
- He has a 5.68 ERA in his last eight starts, blowing two three-run leads, one two-run lead and one one-run lead.
- He has a 5.87 ERA in six starts since Roy Halladay threw his last pitch for the Phillies on May 27.
- He is 0-5 with a 4.13 ERA for the season.
- The Phillies are 3-10 when he starts.
Is Lee healthy?
“Physically, I feel fine,” he said.
Is he tipping pitches?
“I don’t know,” he said.
Are the winless record and recent struggles getting to him, affecting him mentally on the mound and in between starts?
“No,” he said.
This is just my opinion, but I think Lee’s problems are more mental than mechanical. I think he’s frustrated and I think those frustrations have carried onto the mound. I tried asking Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee about Lee’s struggles today, but Dubee wasn’t about to offer any insight about his $120 million ace.
“I’m not going there,” he said.
“He doesn’t need anything in the paper.”
Are you concerned?
“Yeah, I want to see him pitch better. Yeah.”
Do you think it’s easily fixable?
“I’m not going into it.”
But it is fixable?
“Does he have talent still? Yeah? Well.”
Could it just be a bad stretch?
“I’m not going into it.”
Do you think his frustrations are affecting him mentally?
“I’m not going into it.”
If it were an easily fixable mechanical problem, I suspect Dubee would have just said, “We saw something. We’re working on it.” But if it’s more of a mental issue, he might not want that being discussed publicly. Maybe that’s why he didn’t say anything this afternoon.
Then again, sometimes Dubee just isn’t in the mood to talk.
He just threw 33 pitches in his first bullpen session since he landed on the disabled list in May with a strained latissimus dorsi. Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said Halladay is a little bit ahead of schedule – more days than weeks, he stressed – and is “progressing nicely.”
“It is quicker than the doctor probably thought?” Dubee said. “It might be a few days, but not major. But his work ethic dictates that, too.”
The Phillies originally offered a six-to-eight week timetable for Halladay’s return to the mound for the Phillies.
Could Halladay be back closer to six weeks than eight? It certainly seems possible.
“We’ll see when that day arrives,” Dubee said.
Dubee declined to say when Halladay might throw his second bullpen session or how close he might be to a rehab start.
“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” Dubee said. “What he’s going to do after this is undetermined.”
The Phillies have not seen their rotation pitch this poorly in a long time.
In 24 games since May 18, Phillies starters are 6-12 with a 5.70 ERA (91 earned runs in 143 2/3 innings). In 15 games since May 27, when Roy Halladay pitched his final game for the Phillies before landing on the disabled list with a strained right latissimus dorsi, Phillies starters are 4-7 with a 5.97 ERA (59 earned runs in 89 innings).
“It’s a whole gamut of things,” Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said.
Much of it is mental.
“One starter thinks I’ve got to be the guy tonight,” Dubee said. “And then when that doesn’t happen the next guy says, oh, geez, I’ve got to really be good. It’s been a mishmash of all kinds of stuff. Focus. We get distracted easily. Do we press? Yeah, absolutely.”
The lack of focus comes from frustration; things that happen on the field out of their control. That could be a booted ball in the infield. A broken bat hit that scores a run. It could be a dropped fly ball in the outfield or an errant throw. Maybe it is a really good pitch down in the dirt that a hitters golfs out of the park or off the wall. It could be the offense failing to score runs for them again.
“There’s a whole combination of stuff out there,” Dubee said.
Offense has not been a problem for the Phillies lately. They are fifth in the National League in scoring since May 18, averaging 4.67 runs per game, and third in scoring since Halladay’s last start for the Phillies, averaging 5.13 runs per game.
But the errors and a lack of run support over a long period of time can wear on even the most steely-minded pitcher. Even Halladay seemed to be worn down from those issues before he got hurt.
But what can Phillies pitchers do?
“Stay in your own house,” Dubee said. “Control what you can control. Execute pitches. Don’t get caught up on a broken bat hit or a play not being made or runs not being scored. You don’t have any control over that as a pitcher. You don’t have control winning games. Cliff (Lee) hasn’t had any luck or control in winning a game. All you can do is execute pitches and grind and grind and grind.”
Roy Halladay left today’s start in St. Louis after the second inning with what the Phillies call “shoulder soreness.” They said he left for precautionary reasons, but the fact Halladay feels anything in his shoulder is not encouraging. He told reporters in St. Louis he started to feel something in the back of his shoulder in his last start last week against Washington, but Rich Dubee said the issue has been lingering a bit longer than that. Of course, it is possible Halladay has been feeling something since spring training. Everybody remembers Ken Rosenthal‘s report from a couple scouts that Halladay lacked velocity and sharpness. Halladay denied any talk he might be injured, although he did not deny he lacked the velocity he had in the past.
“Yeah, I’m 34 and 2,500 innings, it does take a while to get going,” he said in March. “I don’t pay attention to that. The older you get, the more you throw, the longer it takes you to get yourself going. When I came up I threw 98. Last year I was throwing 92-93. It’s not unusual. When you get older it takes you longer. The more innings you throw the more it takes to get yourself going again.”
Halladay was 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA in five starts in May, easing those concerns. But the discussion about his drop in velocity continued. Pitch f/x figures are not always accurate (they weren’t with Halladay early this season), but looking at those pitch f/x numbers anyway, Halladay’s sinker averaged 93.29 mph in 2010, 92.71 mph in 2011 and 91.6 mph this season. His cutter averaged 92.03 mph in 2012, 91.47 mph in 2011 and 89.58 mph this season. Dubee dismissed concerns about Halladay’s velocity, saying last month in San Francisco, “He’s got four pitches. He throws to both sides of the plate at any time. And overall he doesn’t use the meat of the plate. That’s what pitching is about. It isn’t about velocity. Velocity allows you one thing. It might allow you to get away with some mistakes. But straight velocity without location, and velocity without an option of being able to go soft or go backwards as far as pure speed, those guys get waffled.”
But another indication Halladay hasn’t been right is the fact he has thrown fewer two-seam fastballs. During his starts in 2010, 33 percent of his pitches were sinkers. In 2011 it dropped to 20 percent and this season it dropped to 16 percent. If pitchers don’t feel good about their fastball they often resort to their offspeed pitches, which could be the case here. (I recall Brett Myers relying a lot on his cutter a few years ago when he lost velocity on his fastball.)
Halladay blew a six-run lead in Atlanta on May 2, and looked bad again last week against Washington when he allowed five runs in six innings. He is 1-3 with a 6.11 ERA in six starts this month. Opponents are hitting .312 against him. Asked after his start against the Nationals if he was healthy, Halladay offered a don’t-be-ridiculous smile and said, “Yeah. Yeah.”
It turns out, wasn’t.
He will get reevaluated Tuesday. I would be shocked if he made his next start, although they could skip a turn with an off day Thursday. But I would be more surprised if Halladay did not end up on the DL. He’s a $20 million pitcher and means too much to the organization to risk throwing him back out there too soon. If it really is nothing serious like Halladay believes — he said it’s different than the shoulder problem that put him on the DL twice in 2004 — there’s no harm in shutting him down for a couple weeks and making sure the shoulder gets as healthy as possible.
But serious or not, this injury certainly has several potential implications:
- The Rotation. If Halladay misses any amount of time, Kyle Kendrick will remain in the rotation. (He has a 1.64 ERA in his last five starts.) If Vance Worley can get back in a reasonable amount of time, the rotation will include Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Joe Blanton, Worley and Kendrick. That’s not bad. But if Worley (right elbow inflammation) isn’t ready soon, the Phillies will have to look to Triple-A Lehigh Valley for a short-term replacement. Options include Dave Bush (4-3, 2.73 ERA in 9 starts), Tyler Cloyd (4-1, 2.15 ERA in six starts) and Scott Elarton (5-1, 2.98 ERA in nine starts).
- Roy Oswalt. The Phillies watched Oswalt throw a bullpen session a couple weeks ago. It has been written Oswalt prefers to stay close to home in Mississippi, but don’t read too much into that. There were similar reports before he accepted a trade to the Phillies in 2010. If Halladay’s injury is serious and he misses a significant amount of time, Oswalt would make a lot of sense if the Phillies were willing to meet his asking price. The Phillies are still trying to stay below the $178 million luxury tax threshold, but Oswalt would put them over the top.
- Cole Hamels. If Hamels is intent on taking the biggest offer on the open market this winter, the Phillies could make the argument they would be better served spending that money elsewhere (offense!) because they are the rare team with two other aces already in the rotation (Halladay and Lee). But if the news Tuesday is bad, the Phillies might not feel so comfortable about their pitching moving forward. Maybe it increases their urgency to sign Hamels.
Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:
- June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
- June 16: Barnes & Noble, Wilmington, Del, 2 p.m.
He certainly looks like the same dominant Cy Young Award-caliber pitcher he has been for more than a decade. He allowed two runs in eight innings last night in a 5-2 victory over the Giants to improve to 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA after three starts. In a league-leading 23 innings, he has allowed just 14 hits, three runs and four walks. He has struck out 14.
But pitch f/x, which MLB Gameday uses to chart pitch velocity and movement, has shown a drop in Halladay’s velocity, which has stirred discussion and concern among nervous Phillies fans, who already are worried about Ryan Howard’s and Chase Utley’s health. Halladay’s two-seam fastball has averaged 90.71 mph this season, compared to 92.71 mph in 2011, 93.29 mph in 2010 and 93.74 mph in 2009. His cutter has averaged 89.16 mph this season, compared to 91.46 mph in 2011, 92.01 mph in 2010 and 92.00 mph in 2009.
But this season’s velocity readings have not been completely accurate for Halladay.