Phillies Nation Player Review: Roy Halladay – Phillies Nation
2013 Player Reviews

Phillies Nation Player Review: Roy Halladay

Was September 23 the last time we will see Halladay as a Phillie?

If I had to pick one word to describe Roy Halladay‘s 2013 campaign with the Phillies, I’d choose heartbreaking.

Every night, I held my breath, hoping that a proud man such as Halladay would find a small portion of the success that led him to over 200 wins, six top-five Cy Young finishes, and two Cy Young wins in his career. And for each of his 13 starts in 2013, my face nearly turned blue.

First, the numbers: highest ERA, WHIP, and BB/9 IP since the year 2000 and his lowest win total since 2000, lowest K/9 IP since 2007, and his lowest innings pitched total since his 1998 cameo with the Blue Jays. Second, the hopes unfulfilled: expected to be healthy and be among the three aces leading the Phillies rotation, Halladay’s velocity continued to diminish, dropping to 88.7 MPH, a near four MPH drop since joining the Phillies in 2010.

Despite Halladay’s struggles in 2012 (11-8, 4.49 ERA), he still was worth about 2.5 wins according to FanGraphs; Halladay’s struggles in 2013 were worth negative 0.8 wins. If 2012 was a bad dream, 2013 was a nightmare for Halladay: seven out of his 13 starts lasted five innings or less, including his final outing on September 23 against the Marlins that lasted only one third of an inning.

Grade: F. I wish I didn’t have to do this, but it’s the only grade that fits. The F is descriptive of the performance, of a superstar falling out of the stratosphere, coming back to earth, and hitting rock bottom. Halladay is a free agent heading into 2014 and this will not be the last written about the righty. And knowing Halladay, this isn’t going to be the last written about his performance. Halladay will be a Major League pitcher again in 2014, looking to make this performance a distant memory. Whether or not it is with the Phillies remains to be seen.



  1. Jaron B

    October 18, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I would have given Halladay a D here given the injury. He had a few good starts, but they weren’t Halladay-esque. I must say that when he told everyone about his shoulder & made TWO bad starts with the injury, I felt that was one game too many.

    He may not have a lot of miles in that arm, but let’s see what he can do after a full season of rest. I’d say try to sign him to a one-year deal (stringent signing bonus (a rigorously analyzed physical) of $1MM), with a base value of $3.5MM and bonuses of $500k for 75, 100, 125, & 150 IP and an awards package for Cy Young & MVP ($500k-75k up to top ten) and Gold Glove ($100k) awards. If not poss., then maybe up the base & packages.

  2. Bob in Bucks

    October 18, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I think F is the correct grade. We are not grading on effort but results. It was horrible and actually worse than than given what he was willing to do to the team while he was trying to come back. He is a determined and stubborn guy which has served him up to now.

    Time to move on. The upside on an older pitcher after shoulder surgery is not good. It is not about the money – it is about the future. Halladay is not a part of the Phillies future and 2014 is not about make or break. It is about building.

  3. Chris Norton

    October 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    There’s absolutely no reason to have him back in 2014. None.

  4. Alex M.

    October 18, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Honestly I would love to see him retire and become our pitching coach, but unless he takes a minor league deal with an invite I think it would be tough to have him back.

    • Ken Bland

      October 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm


      Maybe I have you confused with some one else, but if you’re the one that essayd at length on Martin as a reliever, since your last post (at least that I saw), he was almost directly sent there, and if I recall correctly, had a 10 pitch outing that included 10 strikes.

      So, to this point, good call. I didn’t see it in as black and white as a lot of other folks, and I’m sure you know a lot of knowledgeable types agreed with you.

      Re Halladay he addede, keeping it under 1 message, somebody here gave him a D. Nice joke. But to the several people that gave him an F, you guys are nuts too. A D- still implies passing, however barely, and there was nothing passable about his year, but for returning from surgery, and rerouting to the Bank and pitching pretty well by any human definition, no question F+ is the gracious, objective way to go.

      Hope to have a much higher grade a year from now, no matter what color the uni.

  5. Don M

    October 18, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Ballsy to give him an “F” grade … but it’s absolutely correct.

  6. Lefty

    October 18, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Heartbreaking is the perfect word, I felt the same thing game after game Ian. I will never ever forget the masterful pitcher he was just a few short years ago, and how much joy he brought to me, and all fans of the team. As much as I enjoy reading the player evaluations, I don’t usually get in to these player grades PN gives at the end, just never been my thing. But in this case, I have to say I think the grade is fair.

  7. Trusk

    October 18, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    I disagree completely, and with angered emotion… However, it is a fairly nice intro to a feature article. Yet, with regards, Halladay deserves a “Withdraw.” You would not have given Alex Fernandez an F, in the comedown of his prime, and not for not shooting out of the barrel. … Moreover, Bob Gibson, as well… I’m a little older… An off-year for a potential Hall of Famer is worth a lot more than J.C. Ramirez or Phillipe Aumont, and I don’t care how much money it’s worth. It’s a darn business of millions. You — the writer — pay, write, buy and sell for watching talent beyond sitting in the stands and the screen. You’re good at that, and that’s why I have come here for as long as I’ve had Internet.

    However, you made just one mistake. You cannot clearly discern a throwaway season from that which is “not,” and, like any bad motion picture, you must judge that film in an adjusted way, with a clear balance between hindsight and recognition. Who blames the 1958 World Series loss for the Braves on team captain Red Schoendienst? Who blames Dwight Gooden for the Mets not beating the Dodgers even to make it to the playoffs? Out of all my Mets fans, in my Mets area … Nobody… Halladay, in 2013, was frankly an obviously missing player, but teams have won without major pieces. I’m sure you can think of many. IF Halladay leaves, and everybody says “finally, nice move Ruben,” what a day for this “F.” What a way to grade a player who is better than anybody you have seen in your lifetime save Roger, Randy, Greg, Pedro, Johan … Wow, a Hall of Famer with an “F” in an injury year. How respectful. I will have to stop. Too much knowledge in our history.

    Nobody did that to Jack Morris in Toronto when the Blue Jays won because they won. Nobody did that to David Cone when he was an ace on hire and loan … almost just like Halladay. I clearly know you meant no disrespect, but seeing younger fans treat baseball this way makes me think that none of you remember … Players ARE just changing numbers and uniforms digits in a uncontrollable business. The exception is the Hall of Fame, which most of our best pitchers are not included in. Reconsider a “W,” and give Cloyd the “F” or “D” that he already received. Rare to see a Hall of Famer to receive an “F,” they didn’t even do that to Lefty after Chicago. A HOF presence is worth more than stats you can read on Baseball-Reference or see in a game where he gives up home runs like donuts.

    I know this is the offseason, and for us Phillies fans this is fun, but don’t treat the Hall of Fame like this please. We don’t see many worthy candidates, and even when they are in their worst, they are better than an “F.” My personal opinion is that Halladay isn’t even close, just because Mussina is not. Give them a break, otherwise, they are not worth your otherworldly praise when they win 21 and 19 games in their 34 and 35 year old seasons. Adam Eaton, sure… Not this… We bought the best in the game for premier money, and treated him like a king, don’t send him out like a pauper.

    • Lefty

      October 19, 2013 at 7:39 am

      Ian (“the writer” you refer to) prefaced his 2013 grade with “I wish I didn’t have to do this” – It’s not like he wanted to give him that score. I don’t think any player has received a “withdraw” grade here in all the years I’ve been reading this blog, and there have been plenty of them with injury plagued seasons. If memory serves, Ryan Howard got no break last year, and probably won’t this year. It’s just the way they do it here. Polanco, Rollins, Utley have all had partial years and their grade has suffered for it.

      Further, this is baseball man, a 162 game season of endurance. If you’re not able to stay on the field, it hurts your performance and thus, your grade. Why do you think Gehrig and Ripken were so revered? I’m older too friend, old enough to have seen many of the HOF players you mentioned play- and they were all great and deserving of the HOF honor, but none of them deserved high grades for their final years.

      My opinion is this grade is not disrespectful of the great career of Roy Halladay. He will always be my second favorite Phils pitcher. I witnessed greatness and I am in some ways, in awe of him. And I’m reasonably sure Ian (“the writer”) feels the same way.

    • Ken Bland

      October 19, 2013 at 8:48 am

      That is one really good presentation with a number of good points. It speaks to leadership not being an invisible quantity, which in and of itself is a large point. But the fact of the matter is, this fan created game of grading individual seasons is what it is, a letter grade applied to the results of a singular season. And intangibles are so arbitrary, they can only add to, not supplant on field baseball results.

      The leadership thang might include the reasons I went F+ instead of a flat F. Withdrawl, incomplete, 6 of 1, half dozen of another. Inability to perform for physical reasons still should count for something. So to whatever degree one chooses to use it, it’s some level of a negative. But you offset it with the character and persaverance of his September character demo, and you gotta go above a flat F. But any level D- or above is passing of some kind, and Doc’s year wasn’t any sort of passable. So I stuck a + after the F to give some level of respect.

      But I see your point about there being some form of disrespect, or lack of appreciation. This grading game is a little silly to begin with, and there’s no mandatory rigidity to having to grade everyone. I don’t know that it would have been criminal subjectivity to just pass over Doc. I wonder what a spoonful of truth serum would have resulted in Doc’s applying a grade to his year.

  8. Trusk

    October 18, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    I meant no disrespect, and I know you all wish he pitched lights out, but look what Hall of Fame credentials are like … the tail end of a career is a lot harder to judge than the beginning.

  9. Bill RIECK

    October 19, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Roy has been the best pitcher in the game for the last decade.BAR NONE. Give him a go next year at 4 or 5 starter . THE upside is great. At a lower salary of course. If he turns it around it will be awesome . He is the hardest worker in game BAR NONE. The Phils would be foolish not give him a go. The man deserves a shot.

    • Rick Overdorf

      November 7, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      I am not convinced that 2013 was Doc’s last season. Moyer pitched into his high 40s, and I think Doc COULD be significantly better that Jamie was. If he heals during the off season, he could end up being very good considering his stuff. It does not require a super fastball, just location. Think about it!

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