Roy Halladay pitched in a competitive situation for the first time since May 5 when he worked six innings for the Phillies’ Gulf Coast League team in Clearwater, Fla., on Thursday.
Pitching against Pittsburgh’s rookie league club, Halladay, who had shoulder surgery in mid-May, allowed six hits and three runs. He walked three and struck out four. He allowed a solo home run in his final inning of work and threw 87 pitches.
Physically, Halladay came out of the start feeling good. He is slated to throw a bullpen session in Philadelphia on Saturday and will make a second minor-league rehab start on Tuesday at a yet to be determined site.
Halladay’s fastball was 85 to 87 mph, according to a witness. The right-hander will need more pop than that to get major-league hitters out.
“I spoke with Roy and with people who were there to evaluate him, and they feel that he continues to make progress,” GM Ruben Amaro Jr., said. “He is not as crisp as he wants to be yet. It is likely that he will have at least one more rehab start. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen in Philadelphia on Saturday and we’ll know where he will pitch on Tuesday once he completes that session.”
Amaro is on record as saying that Halladay could make as few as two rehab starts. If that turns out to be the case, he could be back in the rotation in the final week of August.
As Halladay moves toward a return to Philadelphia, lefty John Lannan appears to be heading back to the disabled list with more left knee problems. He missed two months earlier this season with a strained quadriceps tendon in his left knee. The problem flared in Wednesday night’s loss at Atlanta. Lannan allowed five runs and left the game in the second inning.
Lannan will have an MRI on Friday.
“It appears that he has similar symptoms to those he experienced earlier this season with tendinitis of the patellar tendon,” Amaro said. “We’ll know more after the MRI. It seems likely that he is headed back to the disabled list.”
If Lannan has surgery, his time with the Phillies could be over. He is under control for 2014, but it is unclear whether the Phillies will offer him a contract. He is 3-6 with a 5.33 ERA in 14 starts.
The Phillies could bring up right-hander Tyler Cloyd from Triple A to take Lannan’s spot. Halladay and Jonathan Pettibone are also getting closer to being activated from the DL. Pettibone was scheduled to pitch at Double A Reading on Thursday night.
Cloyd is 4-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a .170 opponents' batting average in his last seven starts at Triple A.