Roy Halladay’s ERA is almost high enough to get a driver’s license, but the Phillies will remain patient with their erstwhile ace.
“He’ll figure it out,” GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said before Tuesday night’s game. “Doc will figure it out.”
Halladay has been bruised to the tune of a 14.73 ERA in his first two starts of the season. The Phillies have lost both of those games and entered Tuesday night at 2-5.
This is not spring training anymore. Results count. It is reasonable to wonder how long the Phils can afford to stick with Halladay if he doesn’t start pitching better.
“He’ll get as much time as he needs,” Amaro said. “If he needs 30 starts he’ll get it. As long as he’s healthy and he keeps working at it -- as much as he needs.”
Halladay has struggled since the middle of spring training and hasn’t come close to figuring it out in two regular-season starts. He allowed seven runs and failed to get an out in the fifth inning in Monday night’s 7-2 loss to the Mets. He was tagged for five runs in 3 1/3 innings by the Braves in his first start of the season.
Halladay, who turns 36 next month, is adamant that he is not hurt. Amaro believes him.
“He hasn’t been on an injury report one time since the beginning of spring. Not once,” Amaro said. “If there’s something wrong with him and he was hurt he wouldn’t be pitching. He’s given us no indication of that. Until he does, he gets to pitch. He’s Roy Halladay, dude.”
The absence of injury doesn’t necessarily mean that Halladay couldn’t be physically compromised in some way. He has pitched over 3,300 innings as a professional. He admitted that doctors saw “changes” in his rotator cuff in an MRI exam administered last summer. Wear and tear is a part of the game and Halladay could be feeling the effects of some.
“Could be,” Amaro said. “Could be.”
Control, location, command -- whatever you want to call it -- has been a major issue for Halladay.
“He needs to throw more strikes,” Amaro said.
Amaro was asked specifically if he believed Halladay could consistently locate his pitches given the wear and tear that might be present in his shoulder.
“He’ll figure it out,” Amaro said.
Halladay was upset and frustrated after losing in Atlanta last week. He was downcast and anguished after losing to the Mets on Monday night.
“I don’t think he’s very happy with his performance and he shouldn’t be,” Amaro said. “But he’ll figure it out.”
Halladay will get his next chance to figure it out Sunday in Miami.
Delmon Young could rehab soon
Amaro said Delmon Young could begin an official minor-league rehab stint within the next week. Young, recovering from ankle surgery, is seeing controlled action in extended spring training games in Florida. He could be ready to be activated and take over in right field by the end of this month.