Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay strongly defended pitching coach Rich Dubee against the criticisms of Mitch Williams.
“Coming from the mechanical wonder,” Halladay said. "Yeah, I strongly disagree. To come from a guy who's not around, who's not involved. He's not involved in the conversations ... honestly has no idea what's going on. He really doesn't. He has no idea what's going on in the clubhouse, on the field between coaches and players. To make comments like that, it's completely out of line.”
Williams, the former Phillies closer and current MLB Network analyst, ripped Dubee’s work during an interview on 94 WIP on Friday morning.
Williams, known as Wild Thing in his pitching days, criticized Dubee for not recognizing a flaw in Halladay’s delivery. He said the pitching coach, in his ninth season, was not getting through to the pitchers and suggested it was time he be replaced.
“It may be time for a new voice,” Williams told WIP. “It’s not personal. I think these pitchers have to hear something new. What they’re doing right now just isn’t getting it done.”
Williams mentioned a dustup the two men had in spring training after Dubee scolded him for interfering with the team’s pitchers.
“It irritated me,” Williams said of the incident.
According to a source, Williams reached out to pitcher Jake Diekman and offered pitching advice and that didn’t sit well with Dubee.
“Maybe I hurt his feelings with the dustup, but I don't know,” Dubee said. “Mitch has got a chance. He can apply to 30 teams (to be a pitching coach). You know? I've got no comment to that. Maybe he got upset because I spoke to him about getting involved in our pitching, where I don't think he belongs. Maybe he's upset at that. But I don't think other people belong in our pitching. Again, like I said, he's got a chance to submit a resume.”
In the radio interview, Williams claimed he taught Kyle Kendrick the changeup, a pitch that has helped the right-hander immensely as he has gone 10-4 with 2.43 ERA in his last 16 starts dating to August.
Kendrick laughed about that.
“I taught myself,” he said. “If anyone taught me it was (former Triple A teammate) Justin Lehr. He showed me some things, and he learned it from Tim Hudson.”
Halladay joined the Phillies in 2010 and won the NL Cy Young Award. He finished second in the voting in 2011 before struggling with injuries in 2012. This season, Halladay has been inconsistent. He is 2-3 with a 6.75 ERA in six starts.
Halladay turns 36 this month. While some observers have made a point to say Halladay’s best days are behind him, Dubee’s support of the veteran pitcher has never wavered.
On Friday, Halladay returned that support.
“When I first came over here, Rich Dubee taught me a changeup,” Halladay said. “If I hadn't had that I wouldn't have had the success I've had over here. Especially dealing with the injuries I've dealt with, -- if I didn't have that pitch, if I didn't have him working with me, I really would have been in a lot of trouble. In my opinion, it's a statement that I feel like [Williams] needs to make amends for. I really do. There's very few pitching coaches that I respect more than Rich Dubee.
“Watching Kyle Kendrick, the stuff that he's learned, the way he's grown, is because of Rich Dubee and it's because of his work ethic and the way he goes about things. It really does upset me. It upsets me that guys outside of our group of guys that don't understand what's going on here make comments like that. Hopefully, it's something he'll learn from. I'm not sure if that's the case, but he couldn't be further from the truth. And I don't think it's the first time he's been a little off base.”
Halladay was asked about the other times Williams “has been a little off base.”
"I've heard him criticize a lot of guys for mechanics," Halladay said. "For a guy who's never been a pitching coach, I wouldn't do that. I wouldn't go and look at any player in the major leagues and say, ‘Well, he should do it this way.’ I just don't understand where that comes from. I really don't. There's no one way to do things. To think that you know the one way to do it is a little bit arrogant. I really just feel he's wrong on this one. I'm sure he's not a bad guy. I'm sure he's trying to do the best he can at his job, but I really feel like he was kind of off the mark on this one."