Phillies Notes: Amaro hopes to have a healthy Halladay back

Posted: September 26, 2013

MIAMI - The moment Roy Halladay's season ended Monday night, four men convened in the tunnel underneath the visitors dugout.

A sweat-soaked Halladay told Phillies assistant athletic trainer Shawn Fcasni he felt no pain in his shoulder or elbow. Manager Ryne Sandberg and pitching coach Rich Dubee listened with relief.

They saw a man who pushed his body to the limit. The reward was meager. There was little to learn from Halladay's six postoperative starts. The Phillies say they cannot evaluate Halladay based on the results because he rushed to pitch. Halladay is certain his strength will improve with a winter's rest.

"For him to have come back and pitch, to try to compete, that's big," Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "Was it the right thing to do? I don't know that. But when a guy like Doc wants to come back and pitch . . . there's nothing medically that didn't jibe."

Amaro said Halladay's final inning, which lasted 16 pitches and three batters, generated no hesitation about a possible reunion for 2014. But the general manager said it is "hard" to evaluate Halladay's potential for next season given his dip in velocity and additional health issues not related to his shoulder surgery.

"We have to talk internally more about Doc," Amaro said. "But Doc's a pretty special guy. And if there was somebody that was going to come back and be an effective pitcher, it would be him. We'll have to see whether we think he can."

Halladay finished 2013 with a 6.82 ERA in 13 starts. The only Phillies pitcher since 1934 with a higher mark in as many starts was Calvin Maduro, who posted a 7.23 ERA in 1997. Halladay's ERA was 4.55 when he returned from the disabled list. He struck out 16 and walked 19 in 272/3 innings.

The 36-year-old righthander admitted to battling a genetic diet-related illness that was recently diagnosed. That, along with the expedited recovery from surgery, placed an immense strain on his body. The hardest pitch he threw Monday was 83.4 m.p.h.

"We saw he could be somewhat effective throwing 88, 89 m.p.h.," Sandberg said.

The Phillies must decide whether that is a risk worth taking.

Extra bases

The team has yet to decide on Halladay's replacement for Saturday's game in Atlanta. A reliever from the current roster will make the start, Sandberg said. That means the Phillies will end with two bullpen games because Zach Miner is scheduled for Game 162 on Sunday. . . . Sandberg plans to attend instructional league play in Florida sometime next month. He will visit with Ryan Howard and have his first live glimpse of Cuban import Miguel Gonzalez. . . . Cole Hamels will make his final start of the season Wednesday.


mgelb@phillynews.com

@magelb

inquirer.com/Phillieszone

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