Roy Halladay: Fading Future Hall of Famer

by Brendan Panikkar | Posted on Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
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Roy ``Doc`` Halladay has struggled to start 2013

Roy “Doc“ Halladay has struggled to start 2013

From 2002 until the beginning of the 2012 MLB season, when you wanted to define what exactly is an Ace pitcher, you looked no further than Roy Halladay. Halladay, or very commonly known as “Doc” was the cream of the crop when it came to starting pitchers. For 7 straight seasons (2003-2009), Halladay was the Opening Day starter for the Toronto Blue Jays and even after being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2009/2010 off-season, Halladay would start 3 more Opening Days for the Phillies. Every season, you could guarantee Halladay would give you 220+ innings, with an average of 16 wins and a ton of complete games. Halladay was always flat out dominant, his wide array of pitches could get the best hitters out and make other quality starting pitchers from around the majors look bad.

Here is a look at some of Roy Halladay‘s resume builders for the Hall of Fame:

  • 201-103 career record (through May 1st, 2013) with a 3.35 ERA and 2719.1 innings pitched
  • 67 career complete games along with 20 shutouts
  • 2 Cy Young Awards
  • 8 time all-star
  • Perfect Game vs. Florida Marlins on 29th, 2010
  • Playoff No Hitter vs. Cincinnati Reds on October 6th, 2010 (his first ever start in the post-season)

Halladay is also an outstanding member in the community and has always had a positive impact on his teammates and organization whether it be in Toronto or Philadelphia. Halladay was with the Blue Jays the majority of his major league career and signed contract extensions to be with the team to help them reach the post-season. Once it was clear the Blue Jays were not going anywhere, even with Halladay constantly leading the rotation, he made it clear he would not sign another contract with the team and elect for free agency at the end of the 2010 season. Instead of keeping Halladay around for 2010, the Blue Jays traded him to Philadelphia, with young stud prospect, Kyle DrabekTravis d’Arnaud (eventually flipped for R.A. Dickey), and Anthony Gose (acquired using Michael Taylor, and Brett Wallace). Halladay felt his best chance to win came with the Phillies, but unfortunately for Halladay, the Phillies would not reach past the NLCS.

The beginning of the 2012 season saw Halladay open up as the Phillies ace for a third straight season, his 10th straight Opening Day assignment, against the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he threw 8 shutout innings. Another classic Roy Halladay start, for what many felt would be another typical Roy Halladay season. On May 29th Halladay went on the disabled list with a strained latissimus dorsi (lat) muscle and would not return to the Phillies rotation until mid way through July. Halladay was never really the same once returning from the injury, and even though he managed to go 11-8, his 4.49 ERA was the highest of his career since an injury shortened 2004 (4.20 ERA) season.

After 2012 had finished, Halladay was determined to put 2012 behind him and help the Phillies achieve their ultimate goal, and Halladay`s ultimate goal of winning a world series, which is about the only thing missing from his amazing resume. During Spring Training of 2013, Halladay experienced something he hasn`t experienced for a long time in his career. Being questioned about his ability to pitch at a high level. The questions came about due to a serious drop in velocity and sharpness to his fastball. His fastball was topping out at around 88-90 MPH. His velocity also was down after his injury in 2012, but the inability to throw a good fastball led to a horrendous spring for Doc. His off-speed pitches still were looking good, but the fastball did not.

Halladay is 36 years old, and many people think the age and the amount of innings that he has thrown from his arm could be catching up to him quickly. For the first time since 2003, Halladay was not the Opening Day starter, as fellow teammate Cole Hamels got the assignment. Halladay`s first start of the season against the Atlanta Braves was abysmal. He survived 3.1 innings allowing 5 earned runs, but still managed 9 strikeouts. Halladay toed the rubber for the 2nd start of the season against the New York Mets and was even worse, allowing 7 earned runs through 4 innings, and matched his 3 strikeouts with 3 walks. The next three starts after the Mets start were a bit more like the usual Roy Halladay, as he threw a total of 21 innings, allowing only 4 earned runs and piled on 16 strikeouts. However, the three good starts were followed by his worse start of the season. Last night against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, Halladay went 3.2 innings, allowed 8 earned runs on 9 hits and only struck out 3 batters. It was yet another painful outing for Halladay and his statistics show how much he has struggled to this point:

6 Games Started, 32 innings pitched, 6.75 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 2-3 record.

It hasn`t been pretty for the second straight season for Halladay. It has me wondering whether or not he will ever get the chance to win a World Series title. Much like a lot of the Phillies now, they are old, and fading. 36 year old Roy Halladay has built himself an amazing career, one that is good enough to get him to the Hall of Fame in my mind.

As of now, I would say the age and taxation on his arm have caught up to him. Roy Halladay is a fading future Hall of Famer, which truly pains me to say as a Blue Jays fan. It is a sad sight to see, but Halladay`s career may be coming to an end soon. I sure hope he turns it around.

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Brendan Panikkar
About the Author

Brendan Panikkar is a graduate of Brock University's Sport Management program. Currently, he is the Vice-President, Customer Service at North Aware. He loves all sports but baseball and football take precedent over hockey and basketball. Teams: Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Argonauts, San Francisco 49ers, Toronto Raptors

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