After missing six weeks due to a strained lat, Roy Halladay will be beginning a rehab assignment with the high-A Clearwater Threshers on Thursday night. Halladay has been a workhorse over the last half-decade or more, averaging 236 innings pitched per season since 2006.
He has been off his usual stellar numbers so far in 2012, as he is just 4-5 with a 3.98 ERA through 11 starts. Halladay was 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA in 2011, leading the National League with a 161 adjusted ERA, eight complete games, a 6.29 strikeout to walk ratio, and a 1.3 BB/9 rate. The year before with the Philadelphia Phillies, Halladay was 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA, leading the league in complete games, shutouts, innings pitched, batters faced, walk rate, and strikeout to walk ratio. That season, he won the NL Cy Young award, threw a perfect game in the regular season, and added a no-hitter in the postseason.
The Phillies have been forced to start Kyle Kendrick with Halladay out, and the team has struggled immensely without the Doc. Kendrick is having an awful season, as he is just 2-8 with a 4.89 ERA and an awful 1.481 WHIP. When Halladay returns, the Phillies will have the game’s best 1-2-3 starting pitching trio with Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels, with Vance Worley making up a fine number four pitcher. That will also allow Kendrick to go back to the bullpen, and while he hasn’t enjoyed very much success as a starter this year, he will see plenty of action as a reliever, especially considering the number of injuries the Phillies have suffered to their right-handed relief pitchers in 2012.