The Doc is in. Roy Halladay made his first rehab start for the Gulf Coast League Phillies on Thursday, and initial estimates have him rejoining the big club possibly as early as this month. So, how did the two-time Cy Young Award winner do in first game action since May 5?
Eh, well it’s hard to say really. Again, this is the Gulf Coast League we’re talking about, generally a rookie league. Let’s just say it was a start.
Roy Halladay's pitching line today for the Gulf Coast League Phillies: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO, 87 pitches.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) August 15, 2013
Pitching coach Rich Dubee has been upbeat about Halladay’s recovery from shoulder surgery. Last week Doc threw 75 pitches in a simulated game, but the biggest thing has been gaining the full range of motion back in his right soulder. Per Todd Zolecki:
"I saw him after surgery, a week or so or two weeks later. His range of motion was so much different," Dubee said. "It's a lot easier for him to get his arm up, and there's no biting, grabbing. It was all good. When he first picked up a ball, his arm slot was tremendously good. All positive stuff."
No official word on his velocity on this latest outing, although the Phillies have attempted to downplay that since Halladay began throwing off of the mound.
Halladay is a free agent at the end of the season, and per Zolecki’s story, the eight-time All Star is open to staying in Philly. Most think the club should be focus their efforts on a youth movement right now, but after seeing the uniquely-structured deal Chase Utley signed, there might be room for a short-term, incentive-laden extension for Doc.
That all likely depends on how the 36 year old responds during his rehab assignment, not to mention what he eventually is able do in red pinstripes, which it’s sounding like we’ll be finding out sooner rather than later. Ya know, I’m actually looking forward to seeing Roy back on the hill in a Phillies uniform, even if there might be only a few more opportunities.