Results tagged ‘ Roy Halladay ’

The Big Red Machine

Cliff LeeThe Phillies open a three-game series tonight against the Reds at Citizens Bank Park.

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 Ohio Week In Philly

Chase UtleyHola, amigos.

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.

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.”

Doc To Have Surgery, Optimistic Will Pitch Again In 2013

Roy HalladayRoy Halladay just spoke to reporters in the visitors’ dugout at AT&T Park. He will have arthrosopic surgery on his right shoulder, but said he is optimistic he will pitch again this season.

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.


No Doc Update; Cloyd to Take His Spot

Tyler CloydUPDATED (2:04 a.m.): The visitors’ clubhouse at AT&T Park remained closed longer than normal following last night’s 6-2 victory over the Giants.

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.”

Manuel OK with A Mum Doc

Roy HalladayRoy 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.

Halladay to DL

Roy HalladayThe Phillies announced today they have placed Roy Halladay on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder.

They recalled left-hander Joe Savery to temporarily take Halladay’s place on the 25-man roster. A replacement for Halladay’s spot in the rotation will be named before Friday’s game in Arizona against the Diamondbacks. Candidates include Triple-A left-hander Adam Morgan and right-hander Tyler Cloyd.

Halladay revealed yesterday, after allowing nine runs in 2 1/3 innings in a 14-2 loss to the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park, that his shoulder has been bothering him.

“It started the morning after I pitched against Pittsburgh [on April 24],” Halladay said Sunday. “I woke up and didn’t really think anything of it. It was just kind of regular soreness. This kind of progressed over the last two weeks or so. It’s right shoulder discomfort.

“This is something new this spring. I felt good all spring. I felt good all year. I just got up after that start against Pittsburgh and had soreness in there and wasn’t able to get rid of it. That’s really all I have. We don’t have a lot of information on it. We did some tests, and obviously they aren’t completely conclusive as to what it is. There’s a couple different options, and I think the scans, the MRIs, the CTs and that kind of stuff will give us more information, and we’ll address it then. We’ll see how it plays out here in the next couple days.”

Any Chance for Good News with Doc?

Roy HalladayI have been asked what I expect from Roy Halladay‘s visit in Los Angeles with orthopedist Lewis Yocum.

My answer: I don’t know, but it is tough to be optimistic.

The best-case scenario is what exactly? A little inflammation, he stops throwing for a while and gradually makes his way back? I guess that would be considered good news, but Halladay has not been effective consistently since 2011. He had three good starts (1.71 ERA) before the last two, but he still fell behind most hitters and worked a lot of deep counts. So even when the results have been solid, he has not been the surgeon he had been in the past. I’m just not sure how much a break from throwing will help.

The worst-case scenario is a torn rotator cuff or something of that nature, and Halladay’s season and possibly career is over. In that case, the Phillies’ chances to make the postseason takes a significant hit, although I contend even with a healthy and effective Halladay this team’s chances have not looked good because of the anemic offense. The Phillies were 4-7 during Halladay’s solid three-start run. The offense averaged 2.7 runs per game in that stretch, but please continue to blame the pitching coach and pitching staff for this team’s problems.

Whether it be wear and tear from a long and productive career (this is a likely scenario for me, his shoulder is just shot) or much worse, Halladay’s struggles are sad to see. I would never claim to know him personally. I know him only from our interactions in the clubhouse. But he is a good guy and a ridiculously hard worker. The stories that have been written about him, the comments people have made about his work ethic and how much he is respected, they have not been exaggerated. He lives up to the hype. So it is tough to watch a guy that has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball struggle like this. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he will get good news. I’m just not sure what that could be.


So who replaces Halladay?

My bet is Triple-A left-hander Adam Morgan. I’ve been hearing how he’s not on the 40-man roster, but so what? Morgan (1-2, 3.89 ERA) has the best numbers of the Triple-A starters, although he has struggled in each of his last three starts. But he has performed better overall than Tyler Cloyd, Ethan Martin and B.J. Rosenberg (Cloyd has pitched better in his last two starts. He last pitched Friday.) None of those three have an ERA less than 5.11. I also don’t believe Double-A Reading left-hander Jesse Biddle is an option at this point.

Halladay Says Williams ‘Completely Out of Line’

mitch willamsMitch Williams appeared on 94.1 WIP this morning and ripped into Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee, saying the Phillies need a new man for the job.

He said Roy Halladay‘s problems were a simple mechanical fix that Dubee simply could not find. He mentioned an encounter he had with Dubee in Spring Training, when Dubee yelled at him for trying to talk to his pitchers, although he claimed that did not make his criticism this morning personal. Williams, the former Phillies closer who currently is an analyst for MLB Network, also said he showed Kyle Kendrick his current change up grip, which has brought him great success. Kendrick denied that. It’s been well known Kendrick gives credit to former pitcher Justin Lehr, who learned the grip from Tim Hudson.

“He didn’t like the fact that I spoke with his pitchers at all about anything,” Williams told Angelo Cataldi. “It may be time for a new voice.”

Halladay answered back before tonight’s game at Citizens Bank Park.

“Coming from the mechanical wonder,” Halladay said. “Yeah, I strongly disagree. To come from a guy who’s not around, who’s not involved. He’s not involved in the conversations … honestly has no idea what’s going on. He really doesn’t. He has no idea what’s going on in the clubhouse, on the field between coaches and players. To make comments like that, it’s completely out of line. It really is. Rich Dubee, when I first came over, he taught me a change up. If I hadn’t had that coming over here I wouldn’t have had the success I’ve had over here. Especially dealing with the injuries I’ve dealt with, if I didn’t have that pitch, if I didn’t have him working with me, I really would have been in a lot of trouble. In my opinion, it’s a statement that I feel like he needs to make amends for. I really do. There’s very few pitching coaches that I respect more than Rich Dubee. Watching Kyle Kendrick, the stuff that he’s learned, the way he’s grown, is because of Rich Dubee and it’s because of his work ethic and the way he goes about things. It really does upset me. It upsets me that guys outside of our group of guys that don’t understand what’s going on here make comments like that. Hopefully, it’s something he’ll learn from. I’m not sure if that’s the case, but he couldn’t be further from the truth. And I don’t think it’s the first time he’s been a little off base.”

Halladay was asked about the other times Williams has been off base.

“I’ve heard him criticize a lot of guys for mechanics,” Halladay said. “For a guy who’s never been a pitching coach, I wouldn’t do that. I wouldn’t go and look at any player in the Major Leagues and say, well, he should do it this way. I just don’t understand where that comes from. I really don’t. Former players, there were guys that had certain success doing it certain ways. There’s no one way to do things. To think that you know the one way to do it is a little bit arrogant. … What matters is your success and how guys get it done. It’s not mechanical. It’s a matter of confidence. There’s a lot of things that go into it. I really just feel he’s wrong on this one. I’m sure he’s not a bad guy. I’m sure he’s trying to do the best he can at his job, but I really feel like he was kind of off the mark on this one.”

Said Dubee: “That’s good. Maybe I hurt his feelings with the dust up, but I don’t know. Mitch has got a chance. He can apply to 30 teams (to be a pitching coach). You know? I’ve got no comment to that. Maybe he got upset because I spoke to him about getting involved in our pitching, where I don’t think he belongs. Maybe he’s upset at that. But I don’t think other people belong in our pitching. Again, like I said, he’s got a chance to submit a resume.”

Read the details about Williams’ altercation with Dubee here.

Halladay Finds Help In Old Emails

Halladay Makes HistoryI remember Roy Halladay standing in front of his locker at Bright House Field on March 1, 2011, talking about the influence famed sports psychologist Harvey Dorfman had on his life and career.

Dorfman had just passed away at 75.

Halladay mentioned he had saved nearly every e-mail from Dorfman over the previous five years, so he still would be able to pull advice from the man, even after death. I recalled that comment last week after Halladay had made his third consecutive quality start after two terrible starts to the season. I asked him if he ever looked through those e-mails.

He gave an interesting answer here.