Results tagged ‘ Roy Halladay ’
Everybody could use a break.
They have lost 19 of 23 as the ridiculously white-hot Dodgers roll into town. The Dodgers were 30-42 and last in the National League West on June 21. They are 40-8 (.833) since, which is easily the best record in baseball. The Phillies were 49-48 and second in the NL East on July 19, but are 4-19 (.170) since for easily the worst record in baseball. I know anything can happen any night at the ball yard, but this could be a really ugly weekend.
A couple things from yesterday:
Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke about next season’s potentially left-handed heavy lineup and the organization’s string of misses the past few years with free agent relief pitchers.
Roy Halladay made his first rehab start yesterday in Clearwater.
Roy Halladay is scheduled to make his first rehab start Thursday with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said today that Halladay might make just two rehab starts before rejoining the Phillies rotation.
“If he goes in a straight line I don’t see him going more than two before he comes and pitches for us,” he said. “But a lot of it depends on how he feels. If he feels good we’ll progress him. … There’s a chance, an outside chance, I don’t know what kind of chance, but there’s a chance.”
If Halladay, who is recovering from right shoulder surgery, progresses as expected, he could be back as early as Aug. 25 against the Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park. Pitchers get 30 days on a rehab assignment, meaning if there are no setbacks Halladay would have to be back no later than Sept. 14.
Halladay is scheduled to throw 75-80 pitches Thursday.
Halladay threw a bullpen session Monday in Clearwater, Fla. Amaro said it was a “very good” session.
They finished the half on a 9-4 run, although if you watched their just completed three-game series against the White Sox, you know this team is far from perfect.
“I think we made a statement that if we are going to be a contender and we’re going to win our division or a wild card, we still need some help,” Charlie Manuel said.
But this should be a fascinating second half for numerous reasons. First, the Phillies have a .610 winning percentage post-break with Manuel at the helm. That is the second-best record in baseball from 2005-12. They had a .587 winning percentage after the break last season, even after trading Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence and Joe Blanton. If the Phillies play the same this year they would finish 86-76. The Reds are on pace to win 90 games, so the Phillies need to pick up the pace in the second half.
But the Phillies play the Marlins, Mets, Padres and Cubs 25 more times, or 38.9 percent of their remaining games. Those teams have four of the five-worst records in the league. They also play the Braves and Nationals 22 more times, or 33.3 percent of their remaining games. So 47 of their remaining 66 games (71.2 percent) are against four of the worst teams in the league and the two teams they’re chasing to win the division. Since the Braves started 12-1, they are just 42-40. The Phillies are 42-40 in that same stretch, while the Nationals are 40-41.
The Phillies can’t say they won’t have a chance.
Second, what will the next couple weeks hold? Will the Phillies find a centerfielder to replace Ben Revere? Will they get some desperately needed bullpen help? I know everybody is saying the Phillies are buyers today, but if they stumble coming out of the break that could change quickly. The Phillies have a three-game series this weekend against the Mets at Citi Field, but then travel to St. Louis and Detroit. That isn’t an easy road trip, so the Phillies will need to play well.
Third, there will be plenty of evaluating going on in the second half. The Phillies will evaluate if they should buy or sell, and if they buy how much do they want to buy? But they also will be looking at their players on the field, deciding how they want to improve in 2014 and beyond. But players will be evaluating them, too. Chase Utley and Roy Halladay are free agents following the season. Ruben Amaro Jr. already has said he wants Utley to be a “Phillie for life.” If Halladay returns later this season and pitches well, you have to think the Phillies will try to bring him back. People always ask me about leaders in the Phillies clubhouse. Utley and Halladay are the two best. If they’re performing well you don’t want to lose them.
But Utley and Halladay also will have to decide if it’s best for them to stay. If they think the Phillies are moving in the wrong direction they might want to try to get a World Series ring elsewhere.
Utley talked about his future in Philadelphia. Read that story here.
Halladay also talked about his future in Philadelphia. Read that story here.
He felt a burning sensation in his right ribcage taking swings in the batting cage before last night’s game at Marlins Park. He got scratched from the lineup a short time later, will not play in tonight’s series finale against the Marlins and will have a MRI exam tomorrow in Philadelphia.
It seems likely Utley will miss time with a trip to the disabled list a good possibility.
“It definitely scared me a little bit,” he said today. “My first swing I took in BP, I felt something. My second swing, I felt it again. My third swing, I felt it again. After the fourth swing, I realized something wasn’t right. That’s when I told Charlie (Manuel) I have some pain in my side. He told me to go see (head athletic trainer) Scott (Sheridan). He took me out of the game. I think it was a smart thing to do. You want to be careful with these things because they could linger and get worse if you try to play through it. I think we caught it early enough but it’s hard to know until we have some imaging on it.”
Utley said he felt about the same as yesterday, not great, but not terrible.
“It’s kind of in between,” he said.
Utley has spoken with teammates and former teammates who have had similar injuries in the past. Several Phillies pitchers have spent time on the DL in recent seasons because of strained obliques, but so have position players like catcher Carlos Ruiz and former outfielder Jayson Werth. Ruiz spent 23 days on the DL in 2009, while Werth spent 15 days.
“The main thing they said was, ‘Don’t rush back,’” he said. “That’s when you can make it worse and prolong the time you’re out.”
Utley has been one of the team’s few bright spots this season. He is hitting .272 with seven doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 25 RBIs in 44 games. He has an .814 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, which ranks seventh out of 20 qualifying second basemen in baseball. He has missed much of the previous two seasons because of chronically injured knees, but the knees have not been an issue so far.
“I just hit into a little bad luck,” he said. “I have felt pretty good. Hopefully this is just a small bump in the road.”
Roy Halladay reported to Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., two days ago to begin his rehab following right shoulder surgery. “He’s feeling like he’s got pretty good range of motion, which is a plus,” Amaro said. “I talked to him yesterday. He’s very positive.”
Mike Adams threw a bullpen session today. He will throw another one Friday in Clearwater, Fla., before pitching in a rehab game Monday with Class A Clearwater. He would be activated Tuesday at the earliest.
John Lannan is scheduled to throw May 29 to hitters in Clearwater. Amaro said “he is doing very well. He feels good.”
The Reds swept the Phillies in Cincinnati last month.
A few notes before the series opener:
- The Phillies finally optioned left-hander Raul Valdes to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He was 1-0 with a 7.65 ERA in 10 appearances. Right-hander B.J. Rosenberg takes his place. He was 1-3 with a 4.30 ERA in seven starts in Triple-A. I’m not sure why he got the nod over Lehigh Valley relievers like Joe Savery (3.00 ERA in 12 appearances), Mike Stutes (3.86 ERA in 17 appearances) and Cesar Jimenez (3.20 ERA in 10 appearances), but I’m guessing it’s because he has a power arm and gives the bullpen length. But Rosenberg has 24 strikeouts with 20 walks in 37 2/3 innings. But clearly something needed to be done to shake up the bullpen. The middle relievers have struggled tremendously. If you’re asking about Chad Durbin (7.30 ERA in 12 appearances), I think he gets a longer leash because of his contract (one-year, $1.1 million, plus a club option for 2014), plus the Phillies considered him a valuable asset in mentoring some of the younger arms in the bullpen.
- The Phillies called Roy Halladay‘s right shoulder successful, but he faces long odds to pitch successfully again.
- In case you missed it yesterday, Jimmy Rollins spoke openly and honestly about the reality facing the Phillies: They better get this thing turned around or the front office might blow it up.
- Reds left-hander Tony Cingrani is looking forward to facing Cliff Lee tonight. “He’s why I run off and on the field, because Cliff Lee did that when I was growing up,” he said. “I also like how he uses his fastball.” Cingrani is 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA in five starts. He has dominated left-handed hitters, who have just a .554 OPS against him. Chase Utley is hitting .158 with a .554 OPS against lefties this season. Ryan Howard is hitting .190 with a .590 OPS against them.
- The Phillies have hit .275 with a .331 on-base percentage and .395 slugging percentage in their last nine games, although they are averaging only 3.9 runs in those games. They were hitting .237 with a .296 on-base percentage and .374 slugging percentage in their first 32 games. It is far too early to say the Phillies are turning around their fortunes, but I guess it’s a step in the right direction. Still, they could use some power somewhere. Too many singles, not enough extra-base hits to score runs.
It’s been a while, I know. I took a few days away from the blog to recharge the batteries. But it’s back to baseball tonight at Citizens Bank Park.
This week is a good test for the Phillies. They went 4-3 in San Francisco and Arizona and return home to play five games against the Indians and Reds. The Indians outscored the Phillies in two games two weeks ago in Cleveland, 20-2. The Reds swept the Phillies in three games in April by a combined score 16-4. If my math is correct, that’s zero wins, five losses, six runs for and 36 runs against. So I guess we’ll see if that 4-3 road trip meant anything.
A few random stats to digest:
- From Elias Sports Bureau: Ryan Howard drove in the game-winning runs in the 10th inning Sunday. It’s the 13th time Howard has had extra-inning go-ahead RBIs. The only active players with more extra-inning, lead-assuming RBIs are Raul Ibanez (16) and Placido Polanco (15). Adam Jones and Albert Pujols also have 13.
- I took a look in yesterday’s Inbox at the Phillies’ All-Star candidates. Interestingly, I found Chase Utley‘s .858 OPS best among NL second basemen. He’s third in baseball behind only Ian Kinsler (.911) and Robinson Cano (.895). Among NL second basemen, Utley is first in slugging percentage (.514); tied for first in triples (two) and home runs (seven); second in hits (41) and RBIs (24); third in batting (.289) and on-base percentage (.344); tied four fourth in runs (21) and sixth in doubles (seven). There is no question Utley has been the team’s bright spot offensively on a team that has struggled to score runs. (The Phillies’ three losses in San Francisco and Arizona were by a combined three runs.) Where would this team be if Utley’s knees were keeping him from the lineup?
- The Phillies are 12th in the league with a 4.11 ERA. Remove Roy Halladay and they have a 3.60 ERA, which would rank sixth. I’ve said this for a while, but I consider the complaints about the Phillies’ pitching overblown. Halladay isn’t the same and he might never be, despite his optimism. No matter who takes that fifth spot while Halladay is out (right now it’s a four-man rotation), it’ll be an improvement over his 8.65 ERA. And while the ERAs of Jeremy Horst (5.51 ERA), Chad Durbin (6.17 ERA) and Raul Valdes (7.00 ERA) are scary, we’re not really pinning this team’s record on three pitchers in the front of the bullpen are we? Typically those guys are pitching when the Phillies are trailing or when the starter has gone less than six innings (again, which means things probably haven’t been going well). They aren’t pitching in too many high-leverage situations. Clearly, they need to pitch better, but this team’s problems fall mostly on the offense, which is 13th in the league averaging 3.54 runs per game. At some point this offense is going to have to get its act together or we’ll be looking at a fire sale in July.
Roy 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.”
Here is what he said.
How’s it going?
What’s the news?
I’m going to have a scope. We went in and did the MRI. They found a bone spur, some changes in the rotator cuff, more so than last year. There’s a little bit of fraying of the labrum, but not anything significantly different than last year. So what they’re going to do is go in and clean up the bone spur, clean up the rotator cuff and the labrum. Try and keep it as unevasive as possible. And from what I understand, if they go in and see during surgery what they saw on the exams I have a chance to come back and pitch this year. I have a good chance to come back and pitch this year and hopefully be a lot more effective. They said that my range of motion will be better, my location will be better and hopefully the velocity will be better. But they said the bone spur, the rotator cuff kept rubbing over it. And over time it gradually created more and more of a tear. They want to get that cleaned up and get that out of there. We haven’t decided where we’re going to do it. We’ve haven’t got a time of when we’re going to do it. We’re going to take some time to figure that out, but that’s pretty much the diagnosis. The doctor seemed pretty optimistic that if what they saw is correct, I could come back and be a lot more effective and have a chance to pitch this year and turn back the clock. He said he thought they could turn back the clock two or three years for me. I thought it was very good news. Obviously I don’t want to miss time, but I think as far as scenarios go I feel like it’s a lot better than some of the things I anticipated.
If it goes according to plan, when could you be back?
I don’t know. He said in certain cases it’s been three months, but we really don’t have a timetable. I think the timetable is going to come once they go in and confirm that, hey, what we saw in the x-rays is exactly what we saw when we went in there. And then I think that will give us a better idea of the timetable. But they were definitely optimistic that I would be back this year. But of course we’re going to be as smart as we can and do the best we can throughout the whole process. But I really think the timetable is going to be based on when they go in. Does it look how they think it does?
Did the spur show up last summer on the diagnostics?
You know, I’m not sure. The fraying of the labrum was the same. The rotator cuff was more now than it was last year.
That is because Roy Halladay had a long talk with Ruben Amaro Jr. and Charlie Manuel inside the manager’s office. Halladay had his injured right shoulder examined earlier in the day in Los Angeles. What was said in that closed-door meeting? Nobody was talking, although an update is expected today.
The Phillies placed Halladay on the 15-day disabled list Monday with what they called inflammation, but it could be worse than that. Amaro said Monday he would not speculate if Halladay will pitch again this season. Cliff Lee said even if Halladay is “gone forever, there’s nothing we can do. We’ve got to go out there and continue to pitch and try to give the team a chance to win every time you take the mound. All of us.”
Former pitcher and current broadcaster Rick Sutcliffe then said on ESPN he spoke recently with Halladay. He said Halladay told him he planned to retire if he could not return to prior form. Nobody with the Phillies could speak to that, although Sutcliffe is close to Halladay — close enough that Halladay allowed his ESPN camera crew to get an intimate look at one of his bullpen sessions in Spring Training 2011.
“I think he definitely doesn’t want to go out this way,” Manuel said before last night’s game.
The Phillies announced Triple-A right-hander Tyler Cloyd will take Halladay’s spot in the rotation Friday in Arizona. Cloyd is 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in six starts with the IronPigs, although he has a 2.40 ERA (four earned runs in 15 innings) in his last two starts. They chose Cloyd over left-hander Adam Morgan, who is 1-2 with a 3.89 ERA in six starts. The Phillies love Morgan’s potential and think he has a better future as a starter, but apparently they feel he is not ready for the big leagues and do not want to rush his development.
Cloyd is likely only a temporary solution with left-hander John Lannan expected back from the DL in a few weeks.
Nobody felt like saying much Tuesday about Halladay, including pitching coach Rich Dubee. He declined comment on anything related to Halladay. What could he say until the Phillies learn the results from his visit with Dodgers physician Neal ElAttrache?
“I know how much he wants to pitch,” Manuel said of Halladay. “He’s definitely always wanted to do his job. That’s the thing that drives him. There should be more people like that.”
Roy Halladay felt soreness in his right shoulder following his April 24 start in Pittsburgh, but said nothing until yesterday after he had allowed a combined 17 runs in six innings (25.50 ERA) in his last two starts.
Some people thought Halladay should have told the Phillies immediately. Charlie Manuel feels differently.
“I’ve been around the game a long time,” Manuel said before tonight’s game at AT&T Park. “I never liked to tell anyone I couldn’t play. If you asked me if I could play, I would have never told you I couldn’t. You know? I don’t want to get into that. I played with a broken arm, I played with a whole lot of things. I got hit in the face and my lip was over my eye and I missed one day. I would never tell you I couldn’t play. So, yeah, I could understand that. He felt he could go out there and still pitch. He wasn’t thinking about not pitching bad or something like that; he wanted to try. Roy is an upstanding guy, a straight guy. Hey, there should be more guys like that. You say, ‘Well he’s hurt, he’s hurt.’ But evidently he didn’t feel that way, he felt like he could play. Nowadays guys, they get out of the game real easy. That means he has some integrity, that the game means something to him, that he wanted to see if he could help us. It wasn’t like he was trying to hurt us. Knowing him like I do, he thought he could pitch.”
I understand both sides to the argument, but here’s my take: Either you want players to try to play through pain or you don’t. That’s it. There is no gray area. You can’t say, “Well, because Halladay struggled he should have told them immediately after the Pittsburgh game and been placed on the DL.”
What if Halladay thought he could pitch through it (he did) and performed well? Fans would have called him a gamer. In fact, remember Game 5 of the 2010 NLCS? Halladay strained his groin early in the game. You could tell immediately something was wrong. Should he have pulled himself from the game, even though he thought he could pitch through it? He was hurt, after all. No, Halladay stayed in the game, gutted out a win and extended the series. Fans applauded Chase Utley for playing through a hip injury in 2008. Nobody said, “Well, Chase really shouldn’t have played if he wasn’t 100 percent. He could have hurt the team.”
In both cases the players felt they could compete, so they tried to compete. Twice they succeeded. Once they failed. But you can’t pick and choose when the player pulls himself from competition. They’re not wired that way. They’ll always try first. Always.