Philadelphia Phillies' Roy Halladay Will Never Cross This Taboo Line

By Sean O'Brien
Philadelphia Phillies Roy Halladay
Derick Hingle – USA TODAY Sports

Roy Halladay has averaged 234 innings pitched per season during his 15-year major league career. Last year this Philadelphia Phillies‘ starter only threw 156.33 innings due to a variety of back, shoulder and arm issues.

According to the Cot’s Contracts’ section of the Baseball Prospectus website, he seems highly unlikely to be able to pitch a combined 415 innings during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Halladay may not even be able to hit the 225 inning minimum that he must reach this year as part of the vesting terms that he agreed to when he signed his contract extension in December 2009.

Due to last season’s abnormally low innings pitched total, number 34 needs to pitch a minimum of 258.67 innings this season to trigger his $20 million 2014 vesting option. This means that even if he starts 33 games, as he did for the Phillies in 2010, that he would need to average nearly eight innings per appearance to cross the taboo line.

Dismissing all front office innings’ suppression conspiracy theories, there is a common sense reason why “Doc” is unlikely to hit his high mark. Rich Dubee and Charlie Manuel won’t allow him to throw more than six, or possibly seven innings during the first few months of the season this year. Their prudent choice will be right, because the risk of another injury is real considering his recent health history.

Halladay will throw approximately 65 innings during his first 10 starts. If he appears to have regained his health, he’ll almost certainly remain on a strict pitch-count that will rarely allow him to complete games. Therefore, he might throw a combined 70 innings during his next 10 starts. His final 10, or 11 starts should also allow for another 75 innings.

So, if this great right-hander never misses a regular season start, he should pitch a combined total of approximately 210 innings in 2013. Adding last season’s improper fraction would equal 366.33 innings pitched. That would leave him 48.67 innings short.

Halladay missed approximately seven starts due to injury last year. If healthy, he would have needed to average slightly less than seven innings per start during those seven games to have met his initial innings quota. But, he wasn’t healthy.

The Phillies may still re-sign this soon-to-be (May 14) 36-year-old pitcher to another contract if all goes well this year. Halladay has often expressed his desire to remain in Philadelphia through the end of his career and general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. may be open to negotiations if “Doc” posts another solid year on the mound.

Follow Sean on Twitter @SeanyOB, Facebook, Google+ and read his blog Insight.

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