Why Rush Halladay Back? – Phillies Nation

Why Rush Halladay Back?

http://l.yimg.com/iu/api/res/1.2/fj1BfdqEzacpjwJbVIlmnw--/YXBwaWQ9eXZpZGVvO2NoPTg2MDtjcj0xO2N3PTY1NztkeD0yO2R5PTE7Zmk9dWxjcm9wO2g9ODU7cT0xMDA7dz02NQ--/http://l.yimg.com/j/assets/i/us/sp/v/mlb/players_l/20130405/6134.1.jpgWith the ink barely drying on the tale of Roy Halladay‘s successful comeback start against the Diamondbacks, I’m here to suggest something pretty outrageous. The serendipitous aligning of the stars that allowed Halladay to pitch on Sunday was long ago a plan written in ink, Whited Out, and then put back down in Sharpie.

The detour came last Tuesday night, when Doc threw only 52 of 90 pitches for strikes and didn’t figure into the decision for the Lakewood Blue Claws. He didn’t have the gas, or the control, of a Major League pitcher that night. But Saturday’s 18 inning marathon against the Diamonbacks forced the Phils to use Sunday’s probable starter Tyler Cloyd and left a situation Doc had wanted for weeks, if not months.

Halladay told our Jay Floyd and other media members Tuesday that his goal was to pitch with the Phillies on Sunday. There are a number of reasons he would want to do that including the obvious fact that Halladay is pitching for a contract for 2014. The not so obvious reason Halladay has come back? Because a comeback yesterday allows Halladay to get in two starts before the waiver-trade deadline on September 1 to audition for a contender.I’m not suggesting a conspiracy allowed Doc to throw yesterday but rather that Halladay got a much needed quality start to keep open the small-but-real possibility that the Phillies could deal him to a contender to chase a ring in 2013.

Here’s why it works: Halladay’s $4-5 million left on his contract for the year would most certainly clear waivers. His quality start on Sunday was step one in the audition –  the Phillies could iron out a deal, as a favor to Doc to get him to a contender for a run at a championship prior to start two, contingent on his performance. As a favor to Halladay, the Phillies could trade him for a player to be named or a prospect of minimal value, a move that would not hurt their chances of making a run to re-sign him for 2014. Doc would presumably be the best pitcher available for the 2013 stretch run.

Don’t get me wrong: there are a number of road blocks as to why this wouldn’t work. Even though Doc was good on Sunday, he wasn’t “Doc” and he won’t ever be again. Teams will hesitate because the effectiveness he showed on Sunday was completely different than the dominance he frequently displayed in years past. And at $4-5 million left for this season, it is a hefty financial gamble that could price a number of contenders, such as Pittsburgh, Cincinnati,  Baltimore, Tampa Bay, and Oakland out. A team bent on winning and with big pockets like the Red Sox or Dodgers could be the best fit, if there is a fit at all. But if you are the Phillies, why not trade Halladay, a man who waived a no-trade clause and accepted a below-market contract to join your team, to a contender for the final month of the season?



  1. Lefty

    August 26, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Ian, the thought hadn’t occurred to me, but it’s certainly possible. Maybe the Phils have to sweeten the deal with half of what he’s owed. If they have no plans to re-sign him, they might as well get something in return.

    • hk

      August 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm


      I agree with you, but I don’t think saving money is motivating them. If it was, Michael Young would have been traded by now and so (probably) would Ruiz.

      • schmenkman

        August 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm

        Interestingly, over the last 30 days (i.e. since around the trade deadline), Ruiz is 2nd among all MLB catchers in hitting (wRC+) and fWAR.

      • hk

        August 26, 2013 at 5:55 pm

        Right. And Washington just got a prospect, about whom at least one pundit wrote has 4th starter upside, for a lesser C in Kurt Suzuki.

      • Lefty

        August 26, 2013 at 6:33 pm

        hk, I’m relatively sure that saving money is not their motivation. I just meant it might help unload him if they gave the other team some – incentive, if you know what I mean.

        Honestly I don’t think this is ever going to happen anyway, but I thought it was a fun topic that Ian brought up. I don’t get the hate for it below.

  2. Bill

    August 26, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Ian tweeted this yesterday and got no responses from anyone. So what does he do? He turns this absurd topic into an article and forces it on all of his. He should win a Pulitzer for this piece of crap.

  3. Bill

    August 26, 2013 at 11:21 am

    By the way, Ian also wrote an article on why the Phils should re-acquire Pence. That alone should show you how bad of a writer he is. His work just isn’t relevant anymore. #SorryNotSorry

  4. Hogey's Role

    August 26, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Idk but I’d still like to resign halladay for next year… but maybe trade him this year for a good young catcher and pay the 5 million owed to him and try to resign him at seasons end if that would be ok with doc

  5. Pamikedc

    August 26, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Wells to DL…Orr called up. Why not Overbeck or someone younger than Orr?

    • Richard

      August 26, 2013 at 11:54 am

      I absolutely agree. It is not clear to me why Ruben Amaro consistently likes going with players who weren’t wanted on other teams (e.g., Wells, Orr) without giving homegrown guys such as Susdorf, Gillies and Overbeck a shot. He choose Delmon Young over Darin Ruf. He traded for Hunter Pence, giving up top prospects, to keep Domonic Brown in AAA. There are more examples.

      • devin

        August 26, 2013 at 12:13 pm

        The roster spot Orr is taking is utility infielder. The player who has that roster spot is going to play maybe once a week and occasionally pinch hit. If those homegrown guys are actual prospects then they don’t benefit from moving to regular playing time to irregular playing time.

        You also have the Brown fiasco backwards. The problem was that they DIDN’T keep Brown in AAA. They kept him on the big league roster getting no reps for weeks before finally realizing that he would benefit from going back to the minors and playing every day.

        Calling up a prospect to be a backup hurts them. The only time you should call up a real prospect is when you have a starting spot for them or you don’t have any other options.

    • George

      August 26, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      Wells was DLed due to “vision complications.” I wonder if that’s just a polite way of saying he couldn’t tell a hittable pitch. His fielding seemed to be okay, so he must be seeing something.

      I suppose it’s possible he drank some bad bootleg hooch or got poked in the eye over the weekend. All in all, it seems like a strange description, implying that something else may have been affecting him which caused vision problems. Complications from what?

      As far as bringing back Orr, I agree with devin. I’ll also add that sometimes bringing up a prospect starts his “service clock” and uses up a player option, something that teams don’t like to do for just a few games.

      • Mike in NJ

        August 26, 2013 at 1:51 pm

        “I wonder if that’s just a polite way of saying he couldn’t tell a hittable pitch” Haha I thought the exact same thing when I heard this. Well, at least they replaced him with someone other than Michael Martinez.

        It didn’t even occur to me that they brought Roy back hoping to get something before the waiver trade deadline, but TBH I don’t think that was much of, if any, consideration. The BP was shot and they needed a warm body to start. I guess they could have brought up whoever was supposed to start for AAA instead…

        I don’t think anyone is going to eat $5M and/or give up a half decent prospect for a guy not fully recovered from shoulder surgery. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a deep pocket contender that really needs a SP enough to make the move.

  6. George

    August 26, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    There’s simply no way Halladay is auditioning for a possible trade. He only made an ML start because of that 18 inning nightmare and it’s still pretty evident that he’s not quite ready despite being reasonably effective yesterday. (He’d have looked a lot worse had a home run ball not been caught out in center.)

    To any trade scenarios, whether it’s the Phils’ desire, or Halladays wish, or Ian Riccaboni’s fever dream, I say “baloney.” It just ain’t happening.

  7. Ken Bland

    August 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Quite the article. To say the least.

    Ever so slightly misplaced in the present tense, but such is life

    Reality confronts it on multiple fronts.

    It’s kind of funny I use the word reality a lot, but oh well. Lots of examples of the pot calling the kettle black as we travel through life’s experiences..

    But…the rerality is what it is.

    Let’s first define reality by the terms of where Doc is on the comeback trail.

    To accurately define his performance yesterday, SINGLE freaking entity that it was, and THIRD in a row that just the facts, maam, was NOT dominant, yesterday was a day of potential, not ability. There was, INARGUABLY, some flashes of greatness. Innings 3,4, 5. Pretty vintage stuff, in conjunction with his being what….60% back? Now is he gonna regain whatever level of touch he’s destined for in a month? Good luck wagering on the pro side of that.

    Now a month ago, back at the end of July, you have a real topic, with real scouts checking him out. Double the price obligation at that time. LOL. Who the hell cares. THEN, Doc is a most valid trade discussion commodity and worth the budget of a scouting trip because he still has a good amount of time to BUILD..

    Consider the option. Dan Haren had a first half straight out of Les Miserables Miserablest of the Miserable. But if you haven’t noticed, this former VERY capable pitcher has rejuvenated himself of late, and is so far ahead of where Doc is right now, at a similar price, you’d be nuts to take Doc with a prayer of his outpitching Haren a month and a week from now.

    Doc is here for the year, and fractions of vintage should be cherished, and not overbought. It’s also preposterous to say he’ll never be what he was, except for the natural 36/37 V 32 comparison. One doctor told Doc that after they cleared the shoulder out, he could see him returning to ace level form from 3 years ago. Don’t overreact to the progress/regression one way or another. Just appreciate that the next several starts of the ride are in Philly. At this point, there is zero chance of anything else.

  8. Ken Bland

    August 26, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    People appear to be less than surprised by the recall of Pete Orr. To me, he’s actually a half decent choice. Guy plays multiple positions semi capably, and is used to being a bench guy at this level. What the peeps fail to realize is that if Roger Bernadina hadn’t jumped on board, Orr could easily have lost out to a guy who quote ubnquote can also play centerfield, and then we’d REALLY be hearing complaints about who got the nod.

    You call a guy up who’s not gonna play much, versus an extra 30ish at bats in the waning days of MILB play, it’s not such a hot idea. Player development is fine, but the club’s already in the throes of that with a few spots, and you can see not wanting to overweight that.

    It’d be nice to see Pete contribute however he can. If they planned to play a young guy even a fair amount of the time in the remaining weeks, I believe that player would have gotten the call. We MIGHT see that with Cesar Hernandez, but I believe that’s about it. And with however many at bats he gets this week by playing regularly, his recall can wait. For this week, Orr seems pretty plausible.

    • Ken Bland

      August 26, 2013 at 5:05 pm

      It dawns on me that they could have called Galvis up and that essentially would have made more sense than Orr. I assume he’s not hurt.

  9. Bob in Bucks

    August 26, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Halladay to a contender strikes me as fantasy. At this point there is just too much risk.

  10. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Halladay also doesn’t get the quality start if Bernadina doesn’t make those plays.

    Doc was lucky he was in there. The last few years the Phillies outfield hasn’t made those kind of plays.
    Fastball in the mid 80s.
    Find it hard to believe other teams would be interested,

    In other news.

    Matt Harvey partially torn UCL and possible Tommy John surgery.
    Big implications for 2013 and 2014.

    I am hopeful now.

    • schmenkman

      August 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      Only the leaping catch was with Halladay in the game. Also, two of the four hits Halladay allowed never left the infield.

  11. Ken Bland

    August 26, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Maybe I got so used to Ryan Howard manning the 4 spot, I lost inclination to track it, but if I’m not mistaken, the Phils will flash still another new cleanup man tonight in this 2013 season.

    Clear as day, I remember Chooch batting 4 a fair amount last year, and he proved to be as good a choice as the roster offered.

    This year, the Phils, as I recollect have offered this multitude of 4 folks.


    Erik Kratz

    Chase Utley

    Domonic Brown

    Delmon Young

    John Mayberry

    Darin Ruf

    That’s a lot of names for a “big” spot in the lineup.

    • schmenkman

      August 26, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      Chooch and JMJ haven’t started a game in the cleanup spot yet this year. But Michael Young has (April 19, 20, and 28).

      Mayberry batted there a couple times when he came in as a replacement.

      • Ken Bland

        August 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm

        I thought about M Young, I just couldn’t remember him hitting 4. Net effect is the same, a lot.

        Running out of new 4 guys at this point.

    • George

      August 26, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      Ken, you left out the guy who started the season at #4: Ryan Howard.

      Is it possible that all those other guys just prove that Ryan isn’t as replaceable as people think?

      There’s one other important lineup spot that’s seen quite a few name, and that’s leadoff. Despite what AFW might say about Rollins always leading off, I can think of quite a few others. Some names of those who have been there: Revere, M.Young, Rollins, Mini, Bernadina, and I’m pretty sure there have been others as well. I wish my memory served me better, but it’s been a pretty forgettable season.

      • Ken Bland

        August 26, 2013 at 6:47 pm

        rue, so that’s 8 guys.but I don’t know that it speaks to showing how valuble Howard is. Couple of those guys would be fine as longer term 4 hitters, although in Utley’s case as an example, you’d have a hole, or need elsewhere.

        All I know is it’s a lot of cleanup hitters. Another microcosm of the year, for sure.

      • George

        August 26, 2013 at 9:16 pm

        That “hard to replace” comment was made mostly in jest.

        That said, the Phils really don’t have a lot in-house to bat cleanup, so in a way, it’s not totally inaccurate. Brown right now would be the only guy I’d consider long-term, and if Ruf isn’t stymied his second or third time around the league, he too might work. Those other names , with the exception of Utley, who could be okay for a short time, should only be #4 when Hell freezes over. I’d guess that Satan has his ice skates on this year, or that slot wouldn’t be so devilish to fill.

      • Hogey's Role

        August 26, 2013 at 11:43 pm

        I would rather Brown bat cleanup than Howard anyday

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