One of the more unexpected storylines of this Phillies sad season is the fact that Roy Halladay returned from shoulder surgery in late August after many thought the procedure wound end his career in Philadelphia. But Doc made impressive recovery time and has started twice since returning. The results have been mixed.
With the question of whether Halladay would ever pitch again for the Phillies answered, the next question turns to whether he'll ever be a consistently effective pitcher again and whether or not he could play a role in the Phillies future.
CSN's Corey Seidman broke down Roy's two post-surgery starts, one impressive, one not so much:
Halladay (3-4, 7.94) overcame early struggles in his first start back from shoulder surgery on Aug. 25 vs. Arizona, but was taken deep twice last Friday on a hot afternoon at Wrigley Field. He allowed five runs in five innings that day.
Since returning, Halladay’s sinker has averaged 87.9 mph and his cutter 86.5. Certainly not encouraging signs, but he and the Phillies continue to state that they are more concerned with his command and movement and that the velocity will be the last thing to return.
We all know Halladay's struggles with heat at Wrigley Field, so perhaps that game could prove to be an outlier, but the velocity is hard to ignore and will certainly be a storyline worth following the remainder of the season.
Phils skipper Ryne Sandberg said before the game tonight that Halladay is still building that arm strength back up. From beat writer Matt Gelb's sulia:
"He's able to use all of his pitches," Sandberg said. "I would say, he's still building his arm strength and I think that's where the velocity would and should come back. But I think that he's one outing at a time trying to build on his last outing. The fact he is pitching; it's hard to say if he's a little bit ahead of schedule pitching the way he is considering everything."
So in a final month where we'll be watching guys like Cody Asche, Cesar Hernandez, and Freddy Galvis to see if they will lead to a bright future in Philadelphia, it'll also be worth tuning in every fifth day Roy Halladay starts to see if he has any future on the baseball mount at all.
And whether that mound will be in South Philadelphia.
You know baseball fans are pulling for him to return to some sort of Roy Halladay form.
7:05 from CBP tonight. Roy Halladay takes the hill vs. Jordan Zimmermann (15-8, 3.33).