Dubee maintained that the team believes no structural damage can be inflicted with one additional start in 2012. He said Halladay has long dealt with these random spasms, which arose three to four other times this season. "You guys don't know half of what goes on," Dubee said.
In any case, Halladay wants this last start, to feel better about heading into an important winter. He will totally reshape his offseason program, from throwing patterns to conditioning tactics.
Halladay will turn 36 in May and can be a free agent after 2013. He is due $20 million next season. With that much at stake, isn't another 100 pitches on an already taxed arm asking for trouble?
"No," Dubee said, "because he wants to take the mound and I understand why."
Dubee believes Halladay is setting the highest example even in a season when little has gone right.
"This is the top of accountability," Dubee said. "He isn't happy with his season. He came here to win, and he feels like he didn't hold up his end of the bargain. I think he's held up more than his end of the bargain just coming back from the injury that he came back from.
"He's going to do anything he can to come back next year. He is open-minded and we're going to put together a program that hopefully is going to fix all this."
Before then, Halladay has one night in Miami to foster good feelings.
Utley works at third
Chase Utley practiced again at third base before Wednesday's game under the watchful eye of manager Charlie Manuel.
"He looked pretty good," Manuel said. "When he's ready, he'll come and talk to me."
Any such move is unlikely until Friday, when the Phillies begin a season-ending trip in Miami. Utley tested his arm from third and displayed decent accuracy during the brief workout, which hardly simulated game speed.
It's looking more likely that Utley could see time there before 2012 ends.
"I don't know," Manuel said. "I can't say for sure that he will. There's a chance he will."
Darin Ruf made his second straight start in left field Wednesday. He was pulled in the seventh inning Tuesday in a defensive move and Manuel said he planned to continue that practice. "I want to kind of work him in," Manuel said. "When we have a lead, I'll take him out late. Let him get comfortable." . . . Carlos Ruiz, showing no ill effects from a tear in his left foot, started for the fifth straight game.
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