Originally posted on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 2/23/13
In four seasons from 2008-2011, Roy Halladay‘s worst FIP was 3.06 (2009). In 2011 it was an astounding 2.20 on the strength of a career-best 8.47 K/9 and just a 5.1% HR/FB rate. While the homer rate was fueled by a bit of luck, the strikeouts were completely the result of skill. Honestly, 2011 was probably Halladay’s best professional season.So you want to write him off just because he had a bad season (bad by Halladay’s standards, that is)? It’s true that his velocity was down last year, but it’s also true that he dealt with a strained right shoulder at the end of May. Even though the injury caused him to miss about seven or eight starts, it’s possible that the injury impacted him for the remainder of the season.Halladay’s strikeout rate was still his usual mid-7.00s, but his walk rate rose all the way to 2.07 BB/9! Considering he’d been under 2.00 every year since 2004, that’s a pretty noticeable rise. Still, the down overall walk numbers can almost entirely be attributed to a disastrous September. In May, July, and August (he missed June), Halladay’s BB/9 were 1.02, 1.06, and 1.77, respectively. In September it was 4.10.Even if his stuff continues to deteriorate — he is 35 years old after all — I have faith that Halladay is one of the few pitchers who can continue to flourish for several seasons due to pitching smarts and control.At a GlanceStrengths: W, L, ERA, WHIP, K, QS, BBNeutral: K/9Weaknesses: nonePlayer ComparisonsBest-case scenario: Matt Cain (SF)Likely scenario: R.A. Dickey (TOR), James Shields (KC), Jered Weaver (LAA)Worst-case scenario: Ian Kennedy (ARI)Roy Halladay 2013 Fantasy ProjectionLast year broke up a string of six straight 220+ inning seasons. He’s a workhorse. Injuries are almost impossible to predict (though some pitchers seem to get injured every season and we can sort of plan they’ll get hurt at some point), so I don’t see a reason to project Halladay for fewer than the 210 innings we projected here.Assuming he gets the walk rate back under control, and control is Halladay’s forte so I think he will, we should be looking at a return to his normally phenomenal ERA and WHIP. Given the amount of innings he throws, that ERA and WHIP carries extra weight.Right now on Yahoo! Halladay’s ADP is 58.8. While that’s higher than where we rank him here, remember that Halladay ranked seventh and 12th overall in 2010 and 2011, respectively. There’s no reason he can’t approach those ranks again, though I’d be surprised if he cracked the top 20. The top tier of starting pitchers is just too good right now, but Halladay could end up being a mid-to-low tier one ace.
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