Roy Halladay looks ahead to a crucial offseason

Posted: October 01, 2012

MIAMI - When asked late Saturday night what challenge lies ahead this winter, Roy Halladay said, "I'm looking forward to it" five times in the span of a minute. The pitcher has already engaged the Phillies athletic training staff and strength coaches in meetings to devise a plan. After a season of harsh lessons, Halladay is eager to apply the newfound knowledge of his body.

"I feel like there's no doubt for me," Halladay said. "I feel like I can prepare myself the right way and be successful next year."

There are no guarantees, a fact the confident Halladay was willing to concede. For the Phillies, waiting about four months before truly knowing if Halladay can recapture dominance of old with a winter's worth of work will be an arduous exercise.

Theoretically, the area of distress is his shoulder, which often betrayed him during 2012. But Halladay believes he must focus on strengthening his lower body and core and the results will spread.

"That's what kind of slowed me down the most this year," said Halladay, who turns 36 in May. "That led to some of the upper-body problems I had. Those are things I can address differently this year. Getting older you have to do things different. The running has to change a little bit. The throwing program has to change. Flexibility has to improve."

When Halladay missed seven weeks with a strained muscle behind his shoulder, head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan said extensive comparison of old MRI tests to new ones showed minor changes to Halladay's rotator cuff. They were deemed the product of normal wear and tear, and no one has endured more than Halladay.

The team saw no risk of a structural problem, thus, Halladay pitched Saturday. He was human; Miami scored four times on six hits and three walks in five innings and Halladay finished 11-8 with a 4.49 earned run average.

Manager Charlie Manuel exudes confidence when talking about Halladay.

"He's going to be in really good shape," Manuel said. "He's going to be strong. He's going to get on a routine and be ready."

But Manuel will not know for sure until Halladay arrives next spring.

"I won't," Manuel said. "But I think I know my players, especially the ones I've had for a few years."

Phils add pitcher

Tyson Brummett last pitched in a game Aug. 31, and that was for triple-A Lehigh Valley. Since the minor-league season ended, the 28-year-old righthander has thrown bullpen sessions in Utah in preparation for winter ball.

On Sunday, he became a major leaguer.

Even with this season in its twilight, the Phillies need pitching depth. They do not have a starter for Tuesday's game because Tyler Cloyd was shut down with a tired arm.

"We need more pitching so we're comfortable," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

Brummett will not start Tuesday, Amaro said. The likely candidate is reliever B.J. Rosenberg, who made six starts for triple-A Lehigh Valley. That could change if he is needed in a game before Tuesday.

Brummett posted a 3.20 ERA in 44 games between double A and triple A. He has long been viewed as an organizational arm. Catcher Brian Schneider was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to clear space.

Extra bases

Jimmy Rollins achieved his sixth 100-run season Saturday. Only three Phillies players have had more: Ed Delahanty (eight), Sam Thompson (eight) and Mike Schmidt (seven). . . . Rollins has walked a career-high 62 times in 2012. . . . Carlos Ruiz leads all major-league catchers with 31 doubles. He had three more hits Sunday.

Contact Matt Gelb at or follow on Twitter @magelb.

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