Recent talk surrounding the Philly sports scene has been about Doc Halladay and his infamous shoulder. Halladay had been suffering from shoulder pain during his past two starts and was lit up against the lowly Miami Marlins and Cleveland Indians. His record stands at 2-4 and ERA has ballooned to 8.65 runs which is unheard of for a pitcher of his caliber. Most of the talk since he was placed on the DL included talks of his injury being so serious it could be career ending.
On Wednesday Halladay spoke to the media and advised he’ll have arthroscopic surgery and hopes to return to the Phils late this season. He seemed very optimistic when speaking to the media and even went as far as saying if all goes well with the surgery and the doctor finds nothing else that wasn’t already revealed in the xray that he could in fact turn the clock back 2-3 years on his shoulder. Halladay clearly is grasping that notion as him and Phillies fans around the Delaware Valley hang on to his word that he can possibly return to form late this season and help the team make a playoff run.
Halladay is one of the best pitchers of our generation and without a doubt a hall of famer. I’d love nothing more than to see him come back and help this team go on a playoff run if they can hang around all summer and stay in contention until that time arrives. Now I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news but let’s face it, Halladay is closer to being done then he is to making a comeback and returning to the old Roy Halladay we saw in 2010-2011. First off, he’s now 36 years old and most pitchers over 35 begin their decline they never come back to form. A few examples include Kevin Brown, Pedro Martinez, and our very own Steven Carlton among many others. The greatest pitchers of all time tend to hit a wall around 35 and once they do it’s never the same again.
I can’t envision Halladay being the first to overcome the 35 year old plateau. He’s been in decline since last season so it’s not like this poor performance is anything new. Halladay clearly didn’t appear ready to compete coming into Spring Training as he was rocked on a consistent basis while in Clearwater. His velocity has been down as well which just goes to show that regardless of the injury he’s lost a step. Numerous former pitchers have chimed in on the scenario and I haven’t heard any of them say Halladay can make a comeback and return to form.
The other complication with this scenario is that Halladay will be a free-agent after this season. Regardless if he comes back or not this season I think he’s done as a Phillie once the book is closed on 2013 for Phillies baseball. I certainly don’t want to see the franchise invest more money into a pitcher that is only getting older and constantly leaking oil. It’s time for this franchise to invest in younger, sharper arms for the pitching staff.
Roy Halladay without a doubt has provided some of the greatest moments in Phillies history over the past few seasons. His perfect game against the Marlins, his no hitter in the playoffs, both great memories that will live on forever in the hearts of Phillies fans around the world. I was lucky enough to actually be in attendance during the post season no hitter a few seasons back against the Reds and without a doubt it was one of the greatest games I’ve ever attended. I thank Doc for providing those moments but if I was a gambling man I’d have to say we’ve seen the last of Roy Halladay in a Phillies uniform. I applaud him for being optimistic and giving his teammates and fans hope but if you ask me, Roy Halladay is finished. Best case scenario the Phillies are in the playoff hunt and he’s able to return in August or September to help them clinch a spot in the Postseason. Regardless of the outcome though I see no reason to invest anymore money into the guy unless he’s willing to take a serious pay cut and possibly even relocated to a position in the bullpen.
Halladay was asked if he can recover and pitch next season would he take a pay cut to remain with the Phillies and he said the following. “I really want to get through this, come back and see how strong I can be and see how effective I can be, and see if I can help us. I’m not going to make any decisions right now about down the road. I’m going to focus on the here and now and this process. I’ve always told you guys I love Philadelphia, love playing here. It’s a great place to be. But there’s a lot to be determined. I want to be effective and I want to be a part of the team. I don’t want to be a hindrance”. Only time will tell how the situation unfolds but when asked the question is Roy Halladay done, my answer is yes. The Roy Halladay I came to love was finished during last season. The guy currently on the roster is only a shell of the pitcher we once knew in Philly. It was nice knowing you Roy, thanks for the memories.