Two big news items from this afternoon – the first comes from Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki who says that Roy Halladay is feeling “good”. Zolecki notes that Halladay has been throwing from 60 ft. The Phillies are hoping Halladay will return in late August at the earliest.
Rich Dubee had this to say about watching Halladay in Zolecki’s piece:
“It looks very, very good,” Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said. “The arm action, he’s able to get his arm back up very easily. No effort at all. Whereas before, because of the stuff that he had going on in his shoulder, he couldn’t get it up on a consistent basis. But now his arm slot is fantastic and he’s doing very, very well so far. He’s a long ways from pitching, but everything so far is going according to plan.”
And the other big news item today was Jayson Stark reporting that the Phillies are talking to both the Red Sox and Tigers about closer Jonathan Papelbon even if the club themselves denies it. An unnamed exec had this to say in the Stark piece:
“Don’t be surprised if you see Papelbon end up in Detroit. If the Tigers have a chance to get the closer they need, they won’t let [a big asking price] stand in the way. So if you’re Ruben, how can you not do that if the Tigers step up the way I think they’re about to step up?”
The Red Sox and Tigers both have several top prospects but it may be a stretch to expect one as a return considering Papelbon’s high contract value. The Red Sox entered the year with Baseball America’s #8th, 31st, 40th, 49th, and 91st-ranked prospects while the Tigers have the 21st, 74th, and 95th-ranked prospects in the game.
Stark also noted that Chase Utley may be able to fetch the club a decent return should the team decide to retool. Stark believes that Utley is the player most likely to be traded should the Phillies become sellers. The Orioles have been noted to be in need of a second baseman and Utley could fit on just about any American League team in a DH role.