A FoxSports.com report late Wednesday night, citing two anonymous scouts, implied that Halladay could be injured because his velocity has dipped this spring and he was throwing from a lower arm slot. That, of course, prompted panic.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was quoted in that report, downplaying Halladay's bad outing, which raised his spring ERA to 10.57. On Thursday morning, when asked again about the report, the GM claimed he had not read it. Then he issued a strong denial.
"There's nothing wrong with him," Amaro said. "He's fine. There's no basis for the alarm."
Amaro then walked away laughing haughtily.
Halladay told reporters Thursday morning that any speculation of arm trouble based off the velocity numbers is false.
"That's poor reporting at the extreme end of poor reporting," Halladay said. "It couldn't be further from the truth."
The scouts quoted in the report claimed Halladay topped at 89 m.p.h. Wednesday. During his last start in Lakeland, Fla., Halladay hovered between 88-92 m.p.h. Both times, Halladay left the field after a full inning in the dugout.
But after his outing Wednesday, Halladay said he threw more change-ups than usual. Why? He wanted to work on it. Typically, that's what pitchers like Halladay do in the spring; they work on the little things they want to improve without focusing on the results - or velocity.
"I don't pay attention to that," Halladay told reporters Thursday morning. "You know, the older you get, the more you throw, the longer it takes to get yourself going," Halladay said. "When I came up, I threw 98. Last year, I was throwing 92-93. So, you know, it's not unusual. But when you get older, it takes longer. The more innings you throw, the more time it takes to get yourself going again."
Dontrelle Willis slammed his left hand into his glove and looked to the sky. His infield had turned a 5-4-3 double play behind him and Willis didn't care if it was a Grapefruit League game. He was pumped.
Willis issued a leadoff walk but responded with three outs for his first scoreless inning of the spring. He's attempting to make the team as a lefty reliever after being a starter his whole career.
"I definitely warmed up well," Willis said. "I slowed myself down. I'm just trying to learn as quickly as I can. A couple of guys told me to slow down. If I can continue to do that, I'll be able to get used to the role."
Jose Contreras made his second competitive appearance since September elbow surgery and threw a scoreless inning in a minor-league game. He allowed a line-drive single but recorded three groundball outs. His next action could be in a Grapefruit League game. . . . For the second time in three days, Laynce Nix was scratched from the starting lineup. The outfielder has missed the last three games with sore ribs from a collision at home plate Sunday. . . . Domonic Brown was a late scratch with a stiff neck.
Contact Matt Gelb
or follow on Twitter @magelb