Ryne Sandberg On Roy Halladay: It's Hard to Say

Ryne Sandberg On Roy Halladay: It's Hard to Say

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).

College hoops wrap: Penn State steamrolled by No. 21 Purdue

College hoops wrap: Penn State steamrolled by No. 21 Purdue

Villanova headlined Philly college basketball action today with a 78-68 win over Providence, led by Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins (see full recap). The win is dampened with the news that Phil Booth is increasingly unlikely to return this season as he still deals with knee discomfort (see story).

Here's a snapshot from the rest of area hoops today.

Penn State steamrolled by No. 21 Purdue
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The way it played this week, No. 21 Purdue is acting like a team that is determined to be in the race for the Big Ten championship all the way to the end of the regular season.

Caleb Swanigan had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Purdue built an 18-point halftime lead and coasted to a 77-52 victory over Penn State on Saturday, four days after shooting 60.4 percent in a 91-68 victory against Illinois.

Against Penn State, the Boilermakers (16-4, 5-2) got 13 points from freshman guard Carsen Edwards and 10 each from Dakota Mathias and Vince Edwards.

"I would just say we were coming out ready to play," said Vince Edwards, who added seven rebounds and three assists. "Our goal is to win the Big Ten. Our focus is to take care of business."

Josh Reaves led Penn State (11-9, 3-4) with 12 points. The Nittany Lions made only 20 of 64 field goal attempts (31.3 percent) and were outrebounded 39-30. Purdue shot 56.6 percent (30 of 53) (see full recap).

Drexel drops road game at CAA-leading UNC Wilmington
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Devontae Cacok scored 12 points and set a Colonial Athletic Association record with 24 rebounds, helping UNC Wilmington stay perfect in conference with an 87-74 win over Drexel on Saturday.

Cacok, whose previous career-high rebounding was 16, broke the school record (21) and conference record (22) late in the second half as the Seahawks cruised to their ninth straight home win, tying the best mark in program history.

UNC Wilmington (19-2, 8-0) led 53-51 with 15:01 left before four players combined to rattle off 12 straight points. Cacok capped the run with one of his 11 offensive rebounds and a dunk to give the Seahawks a 65-51 lead with 11:23 remaining.

UNC Wilmington is off to its best start ever and has won 24 of its last 26 conference games, including 12 straight. Chris Flemmings led the Seahawks with 17 points.

Sammy Mojica had 15 points and Rodney Williams added 14 for Drexel (7-13, 1-6), which has lost seven of eight (see full recap).

Delaware swept in season series with Towson
NEWARK, Del. -- Mike Morsell and Arnaud William Adala Moto pulled down a dozen boards as Towson won its fourth straight and a season sweep of Delaware with a 75-58 win on Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers are fresh off a win over Hofstra that saw them erase a 16-point first-half deficit, and momentum carried over when they built a 17-point lead at halftime.

Alex Thomas and John Davis added 13 and 12 points, respectively, but Towson saw its streak of three-straight games shooting better than 50 percent end. The Tigers hit 26 of 55 shots from the floor (47.3 percent), including 6 of 15 from deep.

Delaware snapped a six-game losing streak Thursday with a win over Northeastern. Ryan Daly scored 21 points for Delaware and became the first freshman in school history to post six 20-plus efforts in a season. He reached double-digits for the 12th time in 13 games (see full recap).