Will Roy Halladay Be Better in 2013?
Roy Halladay is one of the best pitchers modern day baseball fans have ever seen, but given that he is turning 36 in May, Philadelphia Phillies fans have to ask themselves how much dominance the ace has left. Given his sharp decline in 2012 and the decline of comparable pitchers his age, a decline is not a guess, its almost guaranteed.
To adequately break down Roy Halladay’s likely decline we must first recognize Roy for what he is: one of the best of our era. With that in mind, to schedule his decline I will compare him to other modern pitchers that dominated their eras, and see what happened to them after they turned 36. The pitchers are: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez.
200 Inning Seasons Before 36, then after 36 and on
Maddux: 14, 4
Glavine: 10, 4
Johnson: 7, 7
Martinez: 7, 0
Halladay: 8, ?
Seasons with ERA Under 3.20 Before 36, 36+
Maddux: 11, 1
Glavine: 7, 1
Johnson: 3, 7
Martinez: 9, 0
Halladay: 7, ?
Average WAR Before 36, 36+
Maddux: 6.36, 3.5
Glavine: 3.9, 2.39
Johnson: 4.89, 7.05
Martinez: 6.57, 0.6
Halladay: 5.53, x
What we can extrapolate from these statistics is that (1) even the greats who keep playing after 36 are prone to stark drops in productivity, and (2) Major League Baseball should really look into whether Randy Johnson did steroids.
So Roy Halladay may never be the same old dominant pitcher, but that does not mean he will not be effective. With the exception of Pedro Marinez, all of the aforementioned players had decent years after turning 36, but none of them besides Johnson were totally dominant any longer.
Roy has one year left in his contract, with a $20 million team option for 2014. Whether he sees that option year rests squarely on the shoulder of Roy Halladay.