Writer’s Roundtable: Concerned About Doc? – Phillies Nation

Writer’s Roundtable: Concerned About Doc?

How worried are you about Doc and his shoulder injury? (AP)

Roy Halladay had a bad year in 2012. It’s just that simple. He dealt with decreased velocity, shoulder troubles, and never got on track.

This is a huge year for Doc as he’s staring down the barrel of a $20 million team option for 2014. Whether he stays with the Phillies long-term could be contingent on what type of year he puts together – but mostly if he proves that shoulder is completely healthy.

Are you worried? The Phillies Nation writers got together to talk about it…

Question: On a scale of 1-10 (10 being most) what is your level of concern with Roy Halladay heading into 2013?


Corey Seidman: 8. Not because I’m so worried about him, but because of how important he is to the success of this team. If Halladay isn’t the Roy Halladay of 2010 or 2011, there is a very small chance this team finishes higher than 3rd in the NL East.

Ryan Dinger: 3. Whenever a pitcher has shoulder issues, there is always reason to be concerned. However, if there is any pitcher in the game who can work himself back to health and make the necessary adjustments in his game to account for physical digression, it’s Halladay. His work ethic is legendary and he’s always been a cerebral pitcher. For that reason, I don’t think there’s is much reason to be overly concerned about Doc.

Don M. 3. Thanks to a rotation that includes Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, the Phillies don’t especially need Halladay’s name mentioned in the discussion for “the best in baseball,” they just need him to be a solid top-of-the-rotation pitcher. The Phillies improved bullpen should help save some wear and tear on Halladay’s arm.

Jay Floyd: 1. If there’s anyone you can trust to put in the hard work and get himself in the best possible condition to compete and earn his paycheck, it’s Roy Halladay, the man with the greatest work ethic of anyone to ever put on a Philadelphia sports uniform.

Jon Nisula: 9. We learned that Roy Halladay can succumb to human injuries, and unfortunately it was his shoulder that was ailing him. I wish he could just stare at his own shoulder and scare it into never hurting again, but he can’t. And because of that, I’m really nervous.

Ian Riccaboni: 5. It was truly strange seeing a such an intense, dominating person, yet alone pitcher, like Doc be slowed down by anything. The shoulder is concerning but his well-documented work ethic leads me to believe that he can be really good once again for the Phillies in 2013.

Pat Gallen: 7. Agree with Corey. I don’t think I’m as much concerned with him getting back to a respectable level as I am about how much the team leans on he, Lee, and Hamels. It’s ridiculous to assume he’ll be a Top-3 Cy Young contender at age 36. But if he can be the third guy of the trio and give you a fully healthy season, his numbers will be just fine. Just don’t expect him to be the Doc of old.



  1. Johanna

    January 30, 2013 at 8:03 am

    I am with Jay Floyd.

  2. DCmikey

    January 30, 2013 at 8:34 am

    5. Half way split bc this team needs him. They need him if, as someone mentioned above, they want to finish higher than 3rd.

    How crazy is it that WE and everyone else is predicting a 3rd place finish for the Phils. It has been a very long time since someone said that.

    I see no way in heck that some of you say less than 3rd. Ha how. Mets and Marlins? Please.

    • Dave

      January 30, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Agreed. Alot of things would have to go wrong for the Phillies to finish below the Mutts and Fish, in which case we’d all be on suicide watch.

    • frank

      January 31, 2013 at 1:30 am

      Get use to it. The Phil’s window is shut because of bad contracts. The mets will now finish above the Phil’s for many years to come.

      • Louis

        January 31, 2013 at 7:01 am

        Really Frank? Name two good players on the Mets.

  3. Alex

    January 30, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Hey guys if Doc reports to camp and we find out his injury ends his career… is the Doc still a guaranteed Hall of Famer? Or does he still have something left to prove?

    • Ken Bland

      January 30, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Have to chuckle a little at the Hall question. I mean after this year (not to overreact to it), but is there any such thing as a guaranteed HOF guy.

      That said, he most certainly is, even if by some quirk of fate he never pitches again. Too dominant, too long not to get in. Worst case scenario, close to 75% first year, gets in the next year.

      I can’t get into the roundateble question, to be honest. If I were an arm doc and educated on the situation, maybe, but until I see evidence he’s not able to throw freely, I can’t worry about it. Course the last time I said I wasn’t worried around here, Delmon Young was signed, so not worried is a short term deal. I can only deal with what I know, and for now, that’s to expect Doc to crank out a good year, which, to keep simple, we’ll define as 200 (plus?) innings and reasonably close peripherals to his norm that sum up to a Cy Young discussed candidate mostly by prejudiced Doc fans, but “pretty” reasonable on more objective terms.

      Well, here’s to hope, at a minimum.

  4. The Original Chuck P

    January 30, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I’m on the heavy end of the scale… 7.5. We saw what this team is like without him last year (and Cliff Lee for a stretch). I recognize that last year was a mulligan but I think Halladay is one of the most important parts of the current Phillies team I will grade to reflect that. I also recognize that shoulder injuries are typically far worse than elbow injuries and despite what we once thought, Halladay is human. He works very hard and you have to wonder if that hard work year after year is catching up with him. In my opinion, Halladay is probably more important than Howard and Utley.

    This team is built to win with pitching. We do not have a murderer’s row lineup… we have enough fire power top to bottom to score 1-3 runs per game pretty consistently. We were at our best a couple years ago when we had all our aces going and we had a bullpen capable of closing games out. That year, we led the league in wins without a potent offense (we were a notch above league average in terms of run scoring) BUT we were atop the leaderboards in almost every pitching category. When healthy, this starting rotation will give you 7 innings and two runs or less almost every night (meaning you win more than you lose if you can score 2-3 runs). We have a stopper going every night… without Halladay, we’re looking at 3/5 of our rotation being average to below average. With him, 3/5 of your rotation is ace quality… 3/5 of our rotation is capable of winning games in which we only score one run. 3/5 of 162 is 99 games. That’s a lot of games… losing streaks wear on a team… avert losing streaks, run the marathon smarter than the rest of the league and play with a chip on your shoulder.

    I can’t wait til the seasons starts…

  5. Chris

    January 30, 2013 at 11:19 am

    “the man with the greatest work ethic of anyone to ever put on a Philadelphia sports uniform”
    That’s a bit over the top…don’t you think?

    • Chuck A.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:26 am

      I don’t think so. Dude reports to Clearwater before everyone else and when he’s there he’s usually the first one there at something like 6AM each day. I know because of the times I’ve been down there to spring training.

    • Ken Bland

      January 30, 2013 at 11:47 am

      It might be a little shortsighted to call Doc that. I mean, you think of Doc, and that’s the reputation, and you just run with it without thinking of another possibility. But who might give him some competition for that? Only guy I can think of that might give him a run for the money might be Steve Carlton.

      • Dave

        January 30, 2013 at 12:22 pm

        Yes, I was specificially thinking of Lefty. His workout may have been a bit more unconventional than Doc’s, but anyone that can throw 30 complete games in a season is in good shape. Carlton still looks like he could pitch.

  6. Manny

    January 30, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Corey said it best.

  7. William Rennick

    January 30, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Until we actually see him throw in game conditions, I’ll go with a 10. We can wax poetic about his conditioning and dedication all we want, but none of that matters when you’re up against Mother Nature. They used to say that Carlton was in such great condition that he’d pitch until he was 50, but it was painful watching him try to pitch the last four years of his career. Halladay has a lot of mileage on that right arm.

  8. Terry Harmon

    January 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    7 — Whether he’s healthy or not, you MUST be concerned about a guy who was so important and who, physically, came up so short last year. But, I still think the Phils can be a playoff team if he’s good, not great. The trick is, he can’t miss a significant amount of time. Rotation depth is not the team’s strong suit right now. Just look at who they have stocked the AAA roster with, Aaron Cook? Pls…

  9. whitey#1

    January 30, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I am very concerned about Roy. Last year we noticed Roy was out of gas by the 5th or 6th inning. Looks like he has a stamina problem, but I haven’t heard anyone talking about it.

  10. Ken Bland

    January 30, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    You folks voting higher numbers on the worry scale are mostly if not wholly coming back to how important Doc is to the staff. Who don’t know dat? I thought the question was geared to his physical deal. Hell, there are like 8 players on this club I’d vote a 12 on the scale if it’s just based on importance to the team. I think we saw that year. There’s a lotta difference between the top players on this club and the depth.

  11. Jaron B

    January 30, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    My rating: 5.5 (concern); 1.5 (worry).

    While the Phillies were holding their own (more-or-less) when Halladay was pitching but fell to 27-under after he went down, he’s Doc… the man with a worth ethic that’s second to none. Pluis, we have Hamels & Lee. If Roy can pitch 6-8 innings per start over 31-33 in the year, an ERA better than a 3.05, with a WHIP under 1.05, and at least 8.5 K/9… then, we’d be set… with a rotation that hitters’d still-hate-to-face. I’m slightly concerned b/c the rotation is our strong point… but I’m NOT really worried. We’ll find out how healthy he is in about two-to-three weeks. I’m certain that I can hardly wait for Spring Training – lol!!! Go Phils!!!

  12. Bob D

    January 30, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Im at a 2 here. Even with an “offyear” Halladay still had a good/decent year compared with others. Halladay has now had a few months to recover and strengthen. The bullpen is vastly improved – so look for Charlie to use them more, and Sandberg will likely encourage him to use them more. Halladay also has the best work ethic of any pitcher – so he will give the best effort he can. And he is smart, so if the drop in velocity continues he will adapt his pitching.

  13. EricL

    January 30, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Wow, whole lotta optimism here.

    I’m at a solid 9 on the Worry-o-meter.

    Yes, Roy Halladay has a legendary work ethic. The problem is that joints are complex structures, and no amount of hard work or rehab or treatment programs are able to revitalize old, worn down ligaments, cartilage and muscle. There’s a reason why baseball players tend to peak in their late 20s and decline from there – the human body does not work as well as it did after that point. It starts to wear out. Hormone levels change. Tissues become less elastic and don’t repair themselves after use as easily. Muscle becomes weaker and doesn’t fire as quickly. Sure, some of these things can be mitigated through various means, but in the end you can’t overcome this inevitability, and so when you see a 36 year old pitcher lose velocity and command, it’s VERY infrequently due to something that can be easily fixed. When you hear them say that they’ve seen “structural changes” to his shoulder on MRIs you need to be worried that he’ll never be The Roy Halladay ever again.

    Might he rebound and post a 2010-11-like season? Sure, anything is possible, I suppose. But it’s unlikely. This is a losing battle, one which nobody wins. So, to base your optimism on Halladay returning to vintage form because he is a hard worker is, I think, setting yourself up to be disappointed.

  14. George

    January 30, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    I have to agree with EricL here–but only to an extent. Structural changes do occur, but they don’t always spell immediate doom, especially in the case of pitchers. Those guys (the good ones, anyway) seem to have more up their sleeves than just arms, and are many times able to continue dominance later than position players. No amount of brain power can speed up a bat, but knowing when and where to place a slightly slower fastball can stll equal a fine season. I can’t help but wonder what Spahn’s fastball was clocked at when, in his early forties, he was still dominating hitters.

    But anyone who is not more than moderately concerned isn’t squarely facing reality, because Halladay is getting long in the tooth and those joints have seen a lot of wear and tear. It’s not going to be his work ethic that gets him through, but his location and pitch selection, and his changing physical condition might cause mechanical changes that could damage his command or negatively impact his choices of what to throw.

    I hope he’s fine, but I also know that only the new season will show anything.

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