Roy Halladay remains one of the best pitchers of his era. But, the 35-year-old veteran Philadelphia Phillies‘ starter is also about to enter his sixteenth year in the major leagues.
A review of his digital record reveals many past accomplishments. History aside, the Phillies face the current dilemma of not knowing what Halladay is capable of accomplishing in 2013.
“Doc” had a breakout 2002 season with the Toronto Blue Jays, as he went 19-7 and made the All-Star team. Then, he won the American League Cy Young Award the next season. While the right-hander lost the same amount of games in 2003, he increased his win total by three, struck out 204 batters and posted a 1.071 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched).
From 2005 through the end of his Blue Jays’ tenure in 2009, one of baseball’s most consistent starters didn’t have a losing record. He went 81-37 during that five-year span and had a combined 3.01 ERA and 1.106 WHIP. He also made the All-Star team four times and finished in the top five of the Cy Young Award voting from 2006-2009.
His first two Philadelphia years were astounding, as he went 40-16, with a combined 2.40 ERA and a 1.041 WHIP. He also earned his second Cy Young Award in 2010, threw a perfect game and generated a no-hitter during his first-ever playoff game.
The impact of over 2,500 regular season career innings took its toll last season, as Halladay’s velocity was noticeably down during spring training. Arm issues caused him to spend a significant chunk of the season on the disabled list starting in late May. While he posted another winning season (11-8), his 4.49 ERA and sub-200 innings’ pitched total came as no surprise to anyone who saw him labor through multiple outings across the seasonal divide.
There’s no way to know if the man who used to be the Phillies’ top ace can return to form. While Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and John Lannan form what should be a good rotation, Halladay’s healthy presence would make it dominant. If “Doc” is able to effectively operate at least 30 times in 2013, Charlie Manuel‘s mound men will force major league hitters to search for answers in every series.