Results tagged ‘ Roy Halladay ’

Happy In Retirement, Halladay Teaches

Roy HalladayRoy Halladay said there is no chance he is sneaking away to throw secret bullpen sessions this spring.

He is happy in retirement.

It helps he remains part of the game, which could become a full-time venture in the future. Halladay is in Phillies camp as a guest instructor, where he is imparting his philosophies about pitching to some of the organization’s younger and less established pitchers. The hope is some of them listen, pick up a thing or two and use some of his suggestions and ideas to help a pitching staff that ranked as one of the worst in baseball last season.

“I love being here,” Halladay said this afternoon at Bright House Field. “I definitely want to keep doing it. I think maybe this first year, I want to make sure that I get to spend the time that I want with my boys and my wife, and that’s my priority. Once I see how things work, yeah, I’d love to continue to do it and if I have more time, do more. I’ll always continue doing it. It’s just a matter of starting to figure out how much I can do. Once the kids are gone, maybe it’s something to do full time.”

Halladay spent more than 30 minutes yesterday with top Phillies prospect Jesse Biddle, discussing the mental aspects of pitching and handing him a copy of “The Mental ABC’s of Pitching” by Harvey Dorfman, which Halladay credits for helping saving his big-league career.

Halladay, who once went from the big leagues to Class A before establishing himself as one of the best pitchers of his generation, has given the book to pitchers in previous springs, too.

“Obviously, it works,” Biddle said. “Just to hear what he has to say about the little things in the game I’m trying to learn and figure out, you can’t really ask for a better guy. His story is something they tell us when we start playing here. We’re taught about it. No matter how tough it gets, you can always bounce back. As long as they give you the ball, you can bounce back. But to hear him discuss it personally with me is pretty cool.”

Halladay has spoken to more than just Biddle. He is introducing himself and making himself available to everybody.

“The stages they’re at now it’s just a mental part and really it’s just confidence,” Halladay said of pitchers like Phillippe Aumont, Jake Diekman and Jonathan Pettibone. “They are very good at what they do, but there’s just that extra confidence that you see in every day Major League players opposed to maybe a guy at Triple-A or Double-A. I’ve been trying to help them speed that up by starting to think about the mental parts and preparing themselves and getting themselves ready to start. Really brainwashing themselves into thinking that’s something they can do consistently. That’s really what it takes. Some guys need to have that success first, but in the things I’ve seen a lot of guys can start to believe that and they talk themselves into that over and over and suddenly they become it. That’s something I’ve talked to some of them about.

Schmidt Won’t Be in Camp this Spring

Mike Schmidt, Charlie ManuelThe Phillies are bringing several former players to Spring Training next month as guest instructors, but they will be without Mike Schmidt in Clearwater, Fla., for the first time in more than a decade.

The Phillies announced today that five former Phillies will be in camp: Roy Halladay, who retired in December; Brad Lidge, who recorded the final out of the 2008 World Series; Gary Matthews, the former TV broadcaster and outfielder for the 1983 National League championship team; Larry Andersen, the current radio broadcaster and pitcher for the 1983 and 1993 NL championship teams; and Dave Hollins, the current scout and former third baseman for the 1993 team.

Schmidt had been in Clearwater every year since 2002, mostly as a guest instructor.

“Mike is treating a health issue that requires him to remain near his doctors, and he will be unable to attend Spring Training as a field instructor this year,” a Phillies spokesman said in a statement. “Mike plans to visit camp in the middle of March as part of his marketing relationship with the Phillies and continue his normal visits to Philadelphia throughout the summer.”

It seemed a certainty Halladay would be in camp, based on what he said in December at the Winter Meetings.

“Baseball has been so great to me,” he said. “My goal is to try and leave baseball better than what I found it, and I’ve tried to do that in my career. I’ve tried to be respectful to the game and do things the right way. I’ve tried to do that to the best of my ability, and moving forward, I’d like to do the same.”

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg extended an open invitation to Halladay at that time.

Lidge and Andersen will be able to offer advice and perspective to the organization’s young relievers, who need to step up this season to give the team a chance to win. Andersen has been interested in coaching again after working as pitching coach with Double-A Reading (1995-96) and Triple-A Scranton (1997).

“It’s my passion, working with guys in the bullpen,” he said. “It’s all about making the team better. That’s the bottom line.”

Matthews has coaching experience, serving as hitting coach for the Blue Jays, Brewers and Cubs. Hollins served as a hitting coach in the Mets organization from 2004-05.

Phillies React to Doc’s Retirement

Halladay for Cy Young?Here is what current and former Phillies players said about Roy Halladay‘s retirement:

Jimmy Rollins
“Roy was one of the best. There are no shortcuts to greatness; Roy understood that, and that’s why he never took any. I wish I could’ve gotten him that ring he desired. That’s my only regret while having him on my team.”

Ryan Howard
“It’s been an honor playing along side Roy Halladay. His tenacity, attention to detail, and preparation was second to none. He is one of the greatest competitors I’ve ever played with. We will definitely miss him, as will the game of baseball.”

Ruben Amaro Jr.
“It was kind of bittersweet. I know how much he likes to compete. For him to not be able to compete at the level he’s accustomed to, I feel badly about that. The other thing people shouldn’t take for granted was what he did for us. When he stepped on the mound, there was like a 97 percent chance you were going to get a win. He was a little bit like Steve Carlton, although Steve did it for much longer with our organization. But when you get a guy like that one the mound, that’s pretty special. I was blessed. I think our fans should feel blessed they had an opportunity to witness that.”

Cole Hamels
“He was one of the best competitors who ever played this game and taught everyone around him to prepare the right way in order to be the best. For me, personally, he helped me understand the game more and gave me insight on how to become a top of the line starting pitcher.”

Kyle Kendrick
“Roy was probably the best influence in my career. Being able to spend the last four years with him taught me what work ethic and commitment are all about. In my eyes, the game just lost the best pitcher of the last 10 years.”

Roy Oswalt
“Roy was one of the best pitchers and students of the game I’ve ever had the honor of playing with. Hands down, he was the best pitcher of this era and a first ballot Hall of Famer.”

Chase Utley
“Roy Halladay is the ultimate competitor. He is by far the hardest worker that I’ve ever seen and treated every game as if it were his last. It was no coincidence why he was the best pitcher of his era. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to watch him pitch for four years. I’ll miss his presence and passion but, most of all, I will miss his intensity.”

Rich Dubee
“Roy was the most prepared, ferociously competitive pitcher I’ve ever been around and was the epitome of professionalism. How he conversed with people and treated his teammates was something I really admired about him. He did it all. He and Jamie Moyer are the most demanding pitchers I’ve ever had. They wanted to get better every time out and if you look at Roy’s numbers, having played in the AL East all those years, winning two Cy Youngs, pitching a perfect game and a postseason no-hitter, he should absolutely get strong consideration for the Hall of Fame.”

Jim Thome
“Roy was one of the hardest working teammates I played with. He was a joy and pleasure to be around and brought the best out of everyone.”

Raul Ibanez
“Roy Halladay is one the most dominant, consistent professional pitchers I’ve ever had the privilege of playing with. He was a great teammate, but an even better father, friend and role model. He is one of those guys who is determined and driven to be great at whatever he does. I wish him and his family all the best.”

Charlie Manuel
“I know it must have been hard for Roy to make this decision to retire because I know how much he loved to play the game. Roy was, without a doubt, one of the greatest competitors I ever had the pleasure of being around.”

Jamie Moyer
“I’m very sad to see Roy retire but very happy to have been his teammate. He was a special player, and it was my great fortune to be able and watch him pitch. Hopefully he enjoys retirement.”

Carlos Ruiz
“Roy was a great player and a very special friend. To have caught both his perfect game and playoff no-hitter is something I will remember for the rest of my life. I wish him and his family all the best in retirement.”

Halladay Retires

Halladay Makes HistoryRoy Halladay will announcement his retirement this afternoon at a news conference at the Winter Meetings.

He will sign a one-day contract and retire a Blue Jay.

The retirement should not come as a complete surprise. Halladay, 36, had a 5.15 ERA over the past two seasons as he has battled shoulder problems, which included surgery in May. His ERA ranked 161st out of 169 pitchers with 163 1/3 or more innings the past two seasons.

He simply had not been himself.

But Halladay absolutely dominated the game for more than a decade prior. He went 175-78 with a 2.98 ERA from 2001-11. Only Johan Santana (2.94) had a better ERA among pitchers with 1,500 or more innings pitched. Only CC Sabathia (176) had more wins. Halladay had 64 complete games in that span, 30 more than Livan Hernandez. He had 19 shutouts, seven more than Chris Carpenter. Halladay ranked first in WAR (65.4), ERA+ (148), strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.52) and winning percentage (.692); second in walks per nine innings (1.55) and opponents OPS (.642); third in WHIP (1.11); fourth in innings (2,300); and fifth in strikeouts (1,795),

He won the American League Cy Young in 2003 and National League Cy Young in 2010. He threw a perfect game for the Phillies in 2010, and a n0-hitter in Game 1 of the 2010 National League Division Series.

Hall of Famer?

Read my story here.

Finding a Numbers Guy

Amaro Talks Werth, Getting Old and MoreRuben Amaro Jr. grabbed the attention of Phillies fans last month when he mentioned the team planned to hire an analytics person to help with player evaluation.

Sabermetrics had not interested the Phillies in the past, but Amaro said they “owe it to ourselves to look at some other ways to evaluate.”

Amaro said recently they are getting close to hiring somebody.

“I think it’s just a matter of getting more information,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s going to change the way we do business, necessarily. We still plan to be a scouting and player development organization, but I think it’s important to get all the information and analyze not just what we’re doing but how other clubs are evaluating players when we talk about possible trades and other sorts of things.”

The Phillies have been working with the Commissioner’s Office during their search. Major League Baseball’s Labor Relations Department works closely with teams and has helped make personnel recommendations in the past. The LRD also has developed resources for baseball operations staffs, including former employees like Pirates president Frank Coonelly and a number of assistant general managers.

Asked if he looked back at recent personnel decisions and wondered if analytics would have helped steer him toward or away from particular players, Amaro said, “Not specifically, no. Again, we believe in our scouts and the things that they recommend. We’re not going to be 100 percent right all the time. But we want to be more right than wrong. We just have to do a better job of targeting the right guys.”

How much the Phillies use analytics or value the new hire’s findings remains to be seen. But there will be plenty of information to consider.

As an example, when the Phillies signed Delmon Young to a one-year, $750,000 deal in January, they mentioned he had 74 RBIs in 2012 hitting behind Tigers sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, the implication being Young “produced” and would have had more RBIs had Cabrera and Fielder not taken RBI opportunities from him. But if they had examined the numbers more closely they would have discovered Young actually ranked 20th in baseball in 2012 with 415 runners on base when he came to the plate. He knocked in just 13.5 percent of those runners, which ranked 96th out of 135 qualifying players.

In other words, he had a ton of RBI opportunities in 2012, even with Cabrera and Fielder in the lineup, but did a poor job knocking them in.

That is just one small example of how numbers can help. Maybe regardless of those numbers — including Young’s low on-base percentage (21 points lower than the average outfielder from 2006-12) and OPS (29 points lower than the average outfielder from 2006-12) the Phillies sign Young anyway because it was a low-risk deal. Or maybe they say, “Hey, the odds are against Young helping us like we need him to help us,” and they look in a different direction.

Will they delve deeply into Roy Halladay‘s numbers this offseason? Doc’s 5.15 ERA the past two seasons ranks 161st out of 169 qualifying pitchers in baseball. Fangraphs.com found pitchers over 35 — Halladay turns 37 in May — who went on the DL for any sort of shoulder injury only averaged 59 innings the rest of their career. Halladay pitched 27 2/3 innings following right shoulder surgery in May. Do the Phillies consider those numbers and pass? Or do they believe Halladay’s reputation as a “gamer” and hard worker is enough to beat the odds?

It will be interesting to find out.

*

Random things from the past week:

  • I’ve plenty on Twitter today about Domonic Brown wearing a Cowboys jersey at yesterday’s game at the Linc. (Gasp!) I think what’s funny is absolutely nobody noticed Mike Adams standing over his right shoulder.
  • Everybody has seen the photo of Bryan Cranston wearing a Phillies jersey during an outtake of Breaking Bad. Once the photo hit Twitter word quickly spread (with plenty of Philly-based news organizations picking it up) that Cranston wore the jersey because he is a Phillies fan. Of course, a simple Google search showed Cranston is a diehard Dodgers fan. I contacted AMC publicity about the photo. Its response: “The shot was taken during the World Series of 2009 (Yankees vs. Phillies). Bryan is definitely a Dodgers fan, but I believe he was rooting for the Phillies in that series. As a gag, (while shooting ep #307 “One Minute”) he did a take with the jersey on.”
  • A report the Phillies resigned Michael Martinez is not true.
  • Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported the Phillies will interview bullpen coach Reid Cornelius for their pitching coach vacancy. Former Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee interviews tomorrow with the Orioles.

Amaro Feels the Heat, Talks Future

Amaro Talks Werth, Getting Old and MoreRuben Amaro Jr. settled into one of the blue seats a few rows from the field Saturday afternoon at Turner Field. He munched on sunflower seeds as Scott Proefrock, one of his assistant general managers, sat in the row behind him.

The Phillies had two games remaining in their disappointing 2013 season, their first losing season since 2002, but it seemed as good a time as any to look back at the team’s misfortunes and discuss ways they can improve the future. In a wide-ranging interview with the team’s traveling beat writers, Amaro discussed everything from the heat he is feeling from fans, increasing the organization’s use of analytics in player evaluation, finding an everyday right fielder, payroll and making sure they do not enter next season crossing their fingers and hoping a multitude of things go perfectly to have a chance to win.

“I always feel under the gun,” Amaro said. “I put myself under the gun. I don’t listen to a lot of it. But listen, I’m the GM of the club, so I fully expect to take heat for it. I’m the one making the decisions on player personnel. I’m accountable for the things that have happened. I didn’t have a very good year; our team didn’t have a very good year. I think we win as a team and lose as a team. The fact of the matter is that I should take a lot of heat for it. I need to be better, and our guys need to be better. We need to evaluate better, we need to make better decisions and try to create a little better mojo overall.”

The front office has missed in its player evaluations in recent seasons. Once Jayson Werth left as a free agent in 2010, the Phillies entered subsequent seasons counting on Ben Francisco, John Mayberry Jr. and Delmon Young to be productive right-handed bats in the outfield.

Since they signed relievers Chan Ho Park and Jose Contreras to one-year contracts before the 2009 and 2010 seasons, respectively, free-agent relievers Danys Baez, Chad Qualls, Chad Durbin and Mike Adams haven’t panned out. The Phillies signed Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year, $50 million contract a couple years ago, but they found no takers before the July 31 Trade Deadline as his velocity and performance have dipped.

In the midst of that, the Phillies released reliever Jason Grilli from Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2011. He has been a force in the Pirates bullpen the past three seasons.

“We’re going to make some changes,” Amaro said. “I think we’re doing some stuff analytically to change the way do some evaluations. Look, we are going to continue to be a scouting organization. That said, I think we owe it to ourselves to look at some other ways to evaluate. We’re going to build more analytics into it. Is it going to change dramatically the way we go about our business? No, but we owe it to ourselves to at least explore other avenues. We may bring someone in from the outside, but we have not decided that yet.”

(more…)

Halladay’s Last Pitch?

Roy HalladayHas Roy Halladay thrown his final pitch for the Phillies?

This season, yes.

Ever, quite possibly.

He faced just three batters in the shortest start of his career in tonight’s 4-0 loss to the Marlins at Marlins Park, sweating profusely, struggling to find the strike zone and never throwing harder than 83 mph in the process. He barely resembled the former Cy Young winner that once threw a perfect game and postseason no-hitter for the Phillies.

Halladay said he is suffering from “arm fatigue” following right shoulder surgery in May, but he also revealed he has been battling a recently diagnosed illness related to his diet, which runs in his family.

He said it is under control.

“I thought there was something serious going on,” he said.

(more…)

Sandberg Gets the Job

Ryne SandbergRyne Sandberg finally got his dream job.

The Phillies will announce at an 11:30 a.m. news conference today at Citizens Bank Park they have removed the “interim” label from Sandberg’s job title to make him Phillies manager. Sandberg becomes the 52nd manager in franchise history.

Sandberg replaced Charlie Manuel on an interim basis Aug. 16, but Sandberg has impressed the organization in that time. The Phillies are 18-16 under Sandberg, no small feat for a team that is 25th in baseball averaging 3.84 runs per game, 26th in baseball with a 4.30 ERA and 27th in run differential at minus-121.

It is not a surprise Sandberg got the job. Everybody in the world seemed to know it would happen. The only mystery remained when the Phillies would make the announcement.

They decided today would be the day.

Sandberg, who spent six seasons managing in the Minor Leagues to get a big-league opportunity, has received high marks from players in the clubhouse.

“Ryno is positive,” Phillies second baseman Chase Utley said Wednesday. “He’s always talking during the game. He’s definitely into the game, and guys respect him for that. He’s given a lot of guys an opportunity to play, which is nice. So far he’s done a great job.”

“There’s definitely a way he wants to do things,” Roy Halladay said earlier this month. “He’s set a tone early, and my guess would be that’s going to continue. He may even have more changes come Spring Training that he wants to see and that he wants to do. I think sometimes that can be a good thing, just to shake things up and make things different to where it’s not the same everyday routine. But he definitely has a way he wants to do things. It’s good that he’s not afraid to do it the way he wants to do it. If you’re going to do something, whatever job you do, you do it to the best of your ability and the way you want to do it and let everything take care of itself. I think he’s done that.”

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?

Martin Moved to Bullpen

Ethan MartinIf Ethan Martin’s confidence has been rattled following seven rough starts in the big leagues, Roy Halladay offered some perspective this week.

He handed Martin one of his baseball cards, which showed his 10.64 ERA in 2000 with the Blue Jays. It is the highest ERA for any pitcher in baseball history with 50 or more innings pitched in a single season.

“He wrote a little note on his card to Ethan, to remind this kid, that, you might be taking your lumps now, but there’s a lot of good that’s going to come down the road in the future if you continue to learn, continue to have the heart to go out there,” said Rich Dubee, who announced today Martin will finish the season in the bullpen. “Ethan definitely has the heart and the mound presence.”

Right-hander Tyler Cloyd will assume Martin’s spot in the rotation the remainder of the year.

“It doesn’t really click in until Halladay came over and said, ‘Hey, do you know holds the record for highest ERA with over 50 innings pitched in the big leagues in a year?’ I said no, and he said, ‘Well, I did,’” Martin said. “Then he came and handed me the card with a 10-point-something ERA and had it highlighted. When you look at that … I’m still upset with how I’ve done, but it makes you say, OK, there’s still a chance I can still be that starter or whatever I have to do. I’m just taking that in, and once I’m down there (in the bullpen) I’ll come in for an inning or whatever they want me to do and give it all I have.

“I was really stunned. Dubee told me to go look at (Greg) Maddux and (Tom) Glavine, and it was the same kind of situation. It’s crazy to think back and see what they did throughout their careers, and where Roy is now, and they had rough starts. I guess I learn from these last seven starts, and just build off of it.”

Martin went 2-4 with a 6.90 ERA in seven starts. It has been speculated Martin might end up in the bullpen because he has a big arm that could serve the Phillies well in the late innings.

Martin has been successful the first time through the lineup, but the longer he has pitched the less effective he has been. Opponents have hit just .200 (11-for-55) against him the first time they see him. He has walked just six, but struck out 23. But after the first time through the lineup, opponent have hit .324 (22-for-68) with 15 walks and 11 strikeouts.

“I think he’s a gem,” Dubee said. “I think he really is going to be a gem in this league. Right now he’s got a lot of innings. We’re just trying to protect him from the workload and also see what he looks like in the bullpen.

“I’m not afraid to put him in the eighth inning right now. Again, this is all trial and error. It will be interesting to see how he handles it. His stuff has played phenomenally well the first time through a lineup. I don’t know if it’s because of fatigue. I don’t know if it’s because he burns up too much energy, but his stuff shortens up the second and third time through. He will play some big role on a pitching staff. It will be a nice little change to take a different look at him.”

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