This season has pretty much been a nightmare for Philadelphia Phillies fans. The offense has been a no-show, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley haven’t set foot onto the field, Jimmy Rollins is playing like a 50-year old shortstop, and now three of the five starting pitchers have spent time on the disabled list.
Roy Halladay is the latest, as the Phillies ace is now out six to eight weeks with a lat strain. Halladay was removed from his last start after two innings, giving up four runs on four hits and a walk during that short outing. Halladay has been uncharacteristically off this season, as he is just 4-5 with a 3.98 ERA, his lowest winning percentage (.444) in a season since 2000 and his highest ERA since 2004.
Halladay’s velocity has been down, as he is striking out just 7.0 batters per nine innings, his lowest single-season rate since 2007. Halladay is still a workhorse, as he’s leading the National League in games started (11) and innings pitched (72.1), but he hasn’t been the same pitcher for the Phillies in 2012.
Halladay has just this year and next remaining on his three-year contract, and he’s set to earn $20 million each season. Halladay has a vesting option for the 2014 season at $20 million, but for that to vest, Halladay needs to throw at least 225 innings in 2013 or 415 innings from 2012 to 2013. Considering Halladay now won’t hit 415 innings in a two year span, he needs to stay healthy in 2013 in order to come back for the ’14 season.
Halladay is already 35 years old and he’s a future Hall of Famer with eight All-Star appearances, a Cy Young award in each league, nearly 200 wins, five seasons leading the league in strikeout to walk ratio, and a perfect game and no-hitter. It would be a shame if this signals the end of the line for Halladay.
The Phillies still haven’t said who will take Halladay’s starts over the next two months or so. Dave Bush in Triple-A Lehigh Valley is having a good streak recently, but he probably isn’t a long-term option. It’s a shame Roy Oswalt is heavily rumored to go to Texas Rangers because the Phillies could really use his services now.
To take Halladay’s spot on the active roster, the Phillies have recalled catcher Erik Kratz from Triple-A.