Originally posted on Philly Sports World  |  Last updated 9/23/12

Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher Roy Halladay celebrates his Perfect Game against the Florida Marlins

Two significant things happened yesterday in the Phillies deflating 8-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves. One was watching Ryan Howard become the second fastest player in MLB history to 300 home runs. Howard achieved the feat in 6 more games than Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner. It was also Ryan Howard’s 4th home run in 4 games, a positive sign that Howard can return to form in 2013.

The other significant event may have more long-term implications for the Phillies. And they’re not necessarily good ones.

Roy Halladay has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for a very long time. Yesterday, like much of this season, he was a mere mortal. Halladay was pulled from the game after working only 1 2/3 innings. He was tagged for 7 runs in what was the second shortest start of his long career. Some fans booed him, which is completely lost on me. How soon people forget.

The concerns about Halladay’s form and health will continue well into the offseason and into next year. Roy Halladay has not been Roy Halladay this year.

Whether it’s because of the lingering effects of a pulled muscle that sidelined him for two months of this season, a stretch that saw the Phillies go 9-25 and find their way out of contention, or because all those years and all those innings are now hanging on Halladay’s shoulder like an anvil remains to be seen. Halladay is 35. Over the past 6 years, no one has logged more innings than he has.

Some are suggesting a re-worked offseason program will help Doc find his way again, but still you’re left to wonder if time has finally caught up to Halladay. I’ve said a few times this season that it wouldn’t surprise me if the Phillies looked to move some salary in the offseason through trade. Ruben Amaro has even said that he may try to improve the club by dealing a marquee name. The one that always pops up is Cliff Lee. Aside from Cole Hamels, Lee is clearly the Phillies most tradeable commodity.

If Roy Halladay had returned from the disabled list the same pitcher that we have seen in the past, I might even be so bold as to say it would be a done deal that the Phillies would deal Lee. But Halladay hasn’t displayed the movement and velocity that made him so hard to hit for so long. Because of that, the Phillies will probably be forced to hang on to Lee whether they want to or not. Not like that’s the worst thing in the world, incidentally, but it could hamper the Phillies efforts to add some much needed help in the offseason.

Halladay was placed on the DL in May with a strained latissimus dorsi muscle. Through the grapevine, however, there have been hints that the problem may also have to do with his rotator cuff. The rotator cuff would definitely explain the down tick in Doc’s velocity.

Time will tell if this is a blip on the radar, a season in which everything that could go wrong for Doc and the Phillies went wrong, or if it is the start of a more troubling trend for Halladay, one of the hardest workers and classiest guys in all of baseball.

For the sake of the 2013 Phillies, the hope is that it’s just “one of those years.”

Similar Posts:

  • Halladay Returns to Form for Phillies
  • Ryan Howard Regaining His Stroke?
  • Can the Phillies Really Compete In 2013?
  • The Cliff Lee Saga – Are the Phillies Contemplating Trading Him?
  • Howard powers late Phillies rally to keep playoff hopes alive

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