, Salem, MA


March 16, 2013

What's up Doc? Halladay's struggles are a concern

For a long time there has been little to worry about with Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay. He notched 15-plus wins each season from 2006 to 2011 and his highest earned run average during that period was 3.71 in 2007.

But Halladay struggled some last season, admittedly dealing with some injury issues, going just 11-8 with a 4.49 ERA and looking a little more vulnerable than we’re used to seeing him look.

Unfortunately for him and the Phillies, his struggles have continued this spring. It’s hard to put too much stock into Spring Training stats, but Halladay has been roughed up and his velocity is way down. He gave up seven runs on six hits to a Tigers lineup which did not even include Miguel Cabrera or Prince Fielder. More disturbingly, his velocity was reportedly clocked at 84-85 mph according to reports and his command eluded him, giving up four walks in 69 pitches. Halladay’s velocity has been on the downturn for a number of years anyways, but it’s especially concerning given that he’s getting older and did have injury issues in 2012.

Halladay claims he feels fine, but said he did feel lethargic on the mound on Tuesday due to a changed workout routine. But the reality is, as the old saying goes, that time waits for no man. Even Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro admitted this week he was concerned, saying on a Philadelphia radio program that on a scale of one to 10 his concern level was at “probably a five and a half or six.”

Even given my reluctance to give too much weight to Spring Training stats, I think I will be avoiding Halladay unless he falls significantly and can be had as a bargain. Halladay is currently going, on average, in the late fifth round in standard Yahoo! leagues. That is way too high for me and I highly doubt I’ll be owning the former Cy Young winner on any of my teams.

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