Making his first minor-league appearance since 2001, Halladay struck out four batters and walked none. After three innings, he threw an additional eight pitches in the bullpen. At the Phillies' request, he did not speak to reporters after the game.
"It's been a while since he's been out there, and I was very happy with what I saw," said Joe Jordan, the Phillies' director of player development. "He was a little rusty, and that should surprise no one. It was fine. He got his work in, got the pitches we wanted to see, and there wasn't a whole lot of damage."
"His two-seam fastball looked good," Jordan added. "He hit some cutters. Breaking ball was in the zone a lot. . . . I think he threw a handful of change-ups."
Pitching for the Florida State League's Clearwater Threshers in the Phillies' spring training ballpark, Halladay was at his best in the second inning, retiring the side in order. Halladay mixed speeds enough that Fort Myers batters had 17 foul balls, sending only four balls past the infield.
He gave up two singles to open the third inning, but stranded the two runners in scoring position, getting a strikeout swinging from cleanup hitter Joe Benson.
Halladay went 4-5 with a 3.98 ERA in 11 starts before he strained the latissimus dorsi muscle in his back. In his absence, the Phillies have fallen to 37-50 and last place in the National League East, 14 games behind Washington.
He wasn't the only Phillies player starting a rehab assignment in Clearwater. Laynce Nix, out more than two months with a strained calf, played as the Threshers' designated hitter. He singled in his first at-bat and grounded into a double play in the third inning, finishing 1 for 3.
Minor-leaguer suspended. Lefthander Ranger Suarez has been suspended 50 games for violating baseball's minor-league drug program. Suarez is on the roster of the Venezuelan Summer League Phillies and his suspension is effective immediately. He had two saves in three appearances this season.
This article contains information from the Associated Press.