It’s been a long ride for Roy Halladay, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
On Monday, Halladay threw 75 pitches in what he called five “up and downs,” then followed it up with a 30-toss bullpen session today. On Saturday, he’ll take part in a simulated game in Clearwater. After being encouraged over the past few days by his performance, Halladay felt well enough to make the move to the Phillies spring home.
What follows the simulated game could be a rehab assignment depending on how he feels. He and the Phillies still have no timetable on his return to the big leagues, however Halladay is planning on being in the rotation at some point this year.
“I want to go out and pitch in those games and compete the way I would here so I know that when I get here I know where I stand.”
There have been no setbacks in his quest to return, either. “Everything we’ve set out to do we’ve accomplished,” said the 36-year-old. Halladay did not dive into specific details about his velocity, but said his arm slot is as good as its been since 2011, which has help his cutter and curveball the most. The velocity will come, but he’s more worried about mechanics.
Halladay also addressed next season, saying he’s not looking too far ahead.
“I’m not worried about next year. I want to come back and pitch and I want to be a part of things and be effective. Really, for myself to come back and say ‘this is something I can overcome.’ To come back and pitch means more than anything.”
Whether or not next season comes with him in red pinstripes is also an unknown. Halladay acknowledged his first choice would be Philadelphia, but there are factors that come into play.
“I always want to play this game to win, and I’m not coming back to try and get a contract for next year, or a bigger contract for next year…and we’ll go from there. After that, hopefully, make a decision on where I can win. I hope that’s here.”
What we see on the field right now isn’t winning baseball, which leads you to believe it’s wide open for Halladay once free agents sets in after the season. He seems to be serious when he says Philly is the place he wants to be, but we all know what has eluded Halladay thus far: a championship. There’s no telling what will happen this offseason, but on paper, it doesn’t appear the Phillies are a serious contender, although that could change with a strong offseason.
“I see a lot here, actually. I see Chase, will they bring Michael Young back. I like our third baseman (Asche), I like his swing. Domonic Brown has been a positive. Seeing how Ryan Howard does this winter. And obviously myself, can I come back and compete at a high level?”
It should be noted that Halladay’s relationship with pitching coach Rich Dubee is strong. Dubee’s contract also expires after the season and Doc admitted that also could come into play when the time comes to re-up in Philadelphia.
Clearly, there is still much work to be done, not only on the mound for Halladay, but in the front office for the Phillies. If