Roy Halladay’s early efforts this spring have been very encouraging. It’s great that this Philadelphia Phillies‘ starting pitcher appears to have regained his health through the off-season.
Assuming that Halladay is able to start 30 games this season, an intentionally reduced workload should result in him throwing approximately 180-210 regular season innings. The point of giving “Doc” the “Stephen Strasburg” treatment (in terms of monitored innings) is to keep his body functioning through September.
Projecting anything based on the sketchy images that appear on the Grapefruit League scene is hardly wise. Halladay is believed to have endured back, shoulder and arm issues last year, which means that any spring training progress will purely lay the groundwork for a potentially good year.
“Doc” threw 2.33 innings against the New York Yankees today, allowing one earned run and striking out three. Charlie Manuel will continue to incrementally extend him during subsequent games until he reaches six, or seven innings per outing.
The days of multiple complete game performances are likely behind this 15-year veteran. He’s averaged six full frame decisions, along with 230+ innings, per season in his career.
Obviously Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, along with a revived Halladay, will need to pitch consistently well for the Phillies’ starting staff to be a source of team strength. With good health fortunes and an invariable rotation strategy, the “Big 3” can give the offense a chance to hit its way into playoff contention. As long as the defense also proves to be serviceable, fall ball may be seen again in Philadelphia.