Results tagged ‘ Roy Halladay ’
That remains to be seen.
He visited team doctors Friday about “spasms” in the back of his right shoulder, then suffered through the second shortest start of his career Saturday in a loss to Atlanta at Citizens Bank Park. Halladay, 35, is 10-8 with a 4.40 ERA in 24 starts this season. It is his highest ERA since he finished with a 10.64 ERA in 2000.
Halladay visited doctors again Sunday, and Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Monday afternoon that “after the last exam it seemed like he’s OK for his next start. That may change.”
Amaro said there are no further test scheduled.
“He seems to be doing OK,” he said. “If anything were to change, the doctors would give us anything or Doc would give us anything, then we’ll let you know.”
There are two schools of thought on Halladay making his final two starts:
- If there is no risk of injury and Halladay wants to pitch, let him. He has earned the right. And also consider this: who would pitch in his place? They really have nobody with their Minor League seasons ending weeks ago, unless they want to use the bullpen in those starts.
- Even if there is no risk of injury, maybe he should get a jumpstart on 2013 because there is little left to play for. The Phillies are five games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second National League Wild Card with just nine games to play. Even if the Phillies finished 9-0, they would need the Cardinals to finish no better than 2-7 to tie.
Amaro declined to discuss the positives and negatives about Halladay finishing the season on the mound or in the dugout.
“We haven’t discussed it internally yet, but we’ll see,” Amaro said.
But looking ahead, there will be less certainty regarding the Phillies’ rotation entering Spring Training than there has been in the recent past. In 2011, the Phillies had the four aces (Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt). In Spring Training 2012, there was no reason not to believe Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Vance Worley would not deliver the organization its sixth consecutive trip to the postseason.
But as Amaro begins his offseason to-do list, he seems pretty comfortable with his rotation.
“I like our rotation coming into next year, barring any other issues,” he said. “I like our top four or five guys coming in and we have a lot more depth coming from below. I like our situation a lot as far as our starters are concerned, yeah.”
Worley had surgery recently to remove a loose body and spur from his right elbow. He should be ready to go by Spring Training. Kyle Kendrick is 6-2 with a 2.17 ERA in his last eight starts. He is a heavy favorite for the fourth or fifth spot in the rotation.
“He hasn’t done anything to make us think otherwise,” Amaro said. “He’s pitched very, very well over the last half of the year. Certainly he’s a guy that if you look around, I don’t know if there are many better fourth or fifth starters in the league.”
But what about Doc?
Can he rebound? Or is there just too much mileage on that right arm?
Amaro said he is confident a revamped offseason workout program will get Halladay back on track.
“Yeah, I think we can assume that,” he said. “Knowing the way Roy goes about his business and some of the things that he may be able to do, I think the benefit of Roy is even if he’s not back to throwing 92 to 95, that he’s still going to be a top of the rotation pitcher, regardless.”
The Phillies entered this weekend’s series against the Astros as the hottest team in baseball, but lost three of four to the worst team in baseball. They’re back under .500 and four behind the Cardinals in the National League Wild Card race with 15 games to play. I’m not going to say it’s impossible to make the postseason, but …
- Even if the Cardinals finish just 7-8 they will be 84-78.
- The Phillies would need to finish 11-4 just to tie. That means they would have to win two of three in four of their remaining five series, and sweep the fifth.
- And that only works if the Cardinals stumble and the Dodgers, Brewers or Pirates (unlikely) don’t outplay them.
The Cardinals play their next nine games against the Astros and Cubs, while the Phillies have nine of their final 12 games against the Braves and Nationals. And again, don’t forget the Dodgers, Brewers and Pirates are between the Cardinals and Phillies in the standings.
Maybe a bad weekend against the Astros shouldn’t have been a huge surprise. The Phillies had been on a great run, but we saw many of the holes this team had showed the first four months of the season:
- An inconsistent offense. The Phillies were 5-for-31 (.161) with runners in scoring position in their three losses against the Astros. Three of the top four hitters in their lineup are hitting no better than .254: Chase Utley (.254), Jimmy Rollins (.252) and Ryan Howard (.229). The Phillies have some offensive holes to fill in the offseason, but I’m sure they’ll be expecting Rollins, Utley and Howard to sit atop their lineup in 2013. That is not entirely comforting. The Phillies can talk about injuries and bounce back seasons for Utley and Howard, but it is far from a lock they will completely rebound. The numbers for those three players have been in decline the last few years anyway. Howard’s OPS has dropped every year since his MVP year in 2006, except 2009. Utley’s OPS this season (.815) is up from last year, but it’s still his second lowest since he became an everyday player in 2005. Rollins’ OPS (.740) is up four points from last season, but overall he hasn’t approached his numbers from 2004-07. Now, taking these players individually it doesn’t look that bad. Rollins ranks 7th out of 21 qualifying shortstops in baseball in OPS. Utley would rank third among qualifying second baseman. Howard has 46 RBIs in 61 games. That is 122 RBIs over a 162-game season, although his .715 OPS would rank 16th out of 21 first basemen. But the Phillies are averaging just 4.11 runs per game since Howard rejoined the team July 6, which ranks 12th in the National League. Just because those three compare favorably with other players at their positions doesn’t mean this offense is in great shape. That’s because they don’t have a player to truly anchor the middle of the lineup, like Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, Miguel Cabrera, Andrew McCutchen, etc. Carlos Ruiz has a .949 OPS this season, but it would be dangerous to expect him to replicate those numbers next season and beyond. Plus, he has never had more than 410 at-bats in a season. If Utley had enough plate appearances to qualify, he’d have the second-best OPS on the team behind Ruiz, but it would rank just 64th out of 202 big-league players. It’s tough to score consistently when the three highest paid hitters in the lineup aren’t hitting .260.
- A leaky bullpen. Phillies relievers had a 5.25 ERA against the Astros, allowing 12 hits, 10 runs (seven earned runs), seven walks and one hit batter in 12 innings. The Phillies struck out 13 batters in those innings, showing they have good “stuff,” but they still don’t have the consistency they need to be relied upon.
- Starters. Roy Halladay is 4-0 in his last six starts, but also has a 4.70 ERA. That’s just not the quality one expects from Halladay. Pitching coach Rich Dubee said weeks ago it would take Halladay a long time to lose the bad habits he picked up while pitching with a strained right back muscle earlier this season. But considering the mileage on Halladay’s arm and his age, it is not unfair to wonder what kind of pitcher the Phillies will be getting next season. I would never bet against Halladay, but it also is tough to just say, “He’ll absolutely be the old Doc next year.”
Roy Halladay recently changed his warmup music from Led Zeppelin’s Moby Dick/Good Times Bad Times to Tears for Fears’ Mad World.
Mad World seems fitting because the Phillies woke up this morning four games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second National League Wild Card with 20 games to play. Remember when the Phillies were 14 games under .500 on July 13? Remember when they traded Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence and Joe Blanton? Crazy how quickly things change. Now, that said, the Phillies still face incredibly long odds to make the postseason. They need to keep up their torrid pace — their 14-4 record since Aug. 22 is tied with the A’s for the best record in baseball — and they need the Cardinals, Dodgers, Pirates and Brewers to continue to lose.
But a postseason berth looks a little more realistic with every Phillies victory and every Cardinals loss. I mean, the Phillies were eight games behind St. Louis just last Wednesday.
Now let’s say the the second Wild Card gets in with 85 victories. Here is how the Wild Card contenders need to finish to reach that mark:
- Cardinals: 10-10.
- Dodgers: 11-9.
- Pirates: 13-8.
- Brewers: 14-6.
- Phillies: 14-6.
The Cardinals finish their three-game series in San Diego this afternoon before opening a big four-game series this weekend against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. I guess the best thing for the Phillies is those teams split, while the Phillies take care of business in their four-game series this weekend in Houston. The Phillies play their next eight games against the Marlins, Astros and Mets. You have to think they need to go at least 6-2 to have a shot going into the final 12 games of the season because the Phillies play nine of their final 12 against the Braves (three at home) and Nationals (three at home, three on the road). If the Phillies go 6-2 over this upcoming stretch they would need to finish 8-4 to finish with 85 wins. And that means they could not lose a series the rest of the way, unless they work in another sweep somewhere.
Once the Cardinals finish their series against the Dodgers, they play their next nine games against the Astros and Cubs, who are the two worst teams in baseball. So these next eight games are where the Phillies can really take a run and put some pressure on the Cardinals and the other teams in front of them.
There’s not any wiggle room for the Phillies, but there wasn’t any last week either. And they’ve responded. Can they keep it up?
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.
Here is what he said after the game, commenting on his performance, the trade deadline and Cole Hamels‘ future with the Phillies:
Question: How did you feel?
Halladay: Good. I feel like each time it’s getting a little bit better. Consistency, there’s still some mechanical things that I just want to be able to repeat better. But I felt good. I think things were improved from the rehab start. Yeah, I want to go deeper, so once I get the pitch count up that’ll be nice. Overall, I was happy with pitch execution. I obviously felt good. That hasn’t been an issue since I’ve started throwing. It’s just a matter of repeating mechanics. I feel like it’s come along pretty well.
Question: Has this been tough to watch while you’ve been on the DL? Do you think you can help?
Halladay: One guy isn’t going to turn it around. I know they keep talking about Chase coming back and Ryan and me, but one guy’s not going to do it. We all need to chip in where we can. I think that’s important to look at it that way and realize that you’re not going to do it yourself. There’s not one guy that’s going to do it alone. It’s important to keep in mind. We need everybody. We’ve been playing better here. It’s positive for us so we want to keep that going as much as we can.
Question: Did you feel some urgency to come back because of the team’s situation?
Halladay: Yeah, but … it does and it doesn’t have to do with our situation. I want to get back and I want to help our team, but I think I would have felt that urgency one way or the other. Again, it’s being smart. I feel good and I feel like I can contribute. If I didn’t I wouldn’t have tried to pitch. If I felt like was going to go out there and be a detriment to the team I would have gone and pitched more. I feel like I can go out and be competitive, and give us a chance. Anybody who competes wants to be out there regardless. I don’t care if you’re 15 up in the standings or 15 down. You want to be out there and contribute. You definitely think about it, but I think I would have thought the same if we were up.
Cliff Lee! Cliff wins!
Lee downplayed his first win of the season this afternoon, but it was a big deal. So big Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels dumped Gatorade over Lee’s head to celebrate.
Hamels and Ruben Amaro Jr. met privately after Tuesday’s game. Amaro and Hamels kept quiet about it, but I’d bet my life Hamels’ potential contract extension and the trade speculation surrounding him came up.
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.”