Roy Halladay suffered one of his worst seasons of his career in 2012. His positive 11-8 record was dampered by a 4.49 ERA and a month and a half-long stint on the DL. Halladay missed time last season from May 29th -July 17th with a strained latissimus dorsi muscle. During that time, the Phillies as a team went from a .500 record to twelve games under. Since finishing the 2012 season, Halladay has geared up and kept in shape in an effort to come back in 2013 and make an everlasting impression.
Today, pitchers and catchers reported to Clearwater this morning and MLB's Todd Zolecki got a chance to speak to one of the only people who have seen Roy Halladay throw a baseball this offseason, Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee.
Q: You’ve actually seen Roy throw. How has he looked?
A: His spikes are starting to get dirty. That’s all. Really, he’s thrown a couple bullpens.
Q: So you can’t say if he’s better, worse or the same as he was at this time last year?
A: I know he’s talking better. He feels a lot stronger . It’s going to take him a while to put all the pieces together in his delivery like anybody, but that’s what Spring Training is for. So he’s got to find that comfort zone. But as far as his arm feeling well and his strength feeling good, he’s progressed nicely.
Q: You’ve worked with hundreds of pitchers, so you’ve heard plenty of them say how great they feel and how great their rehab or workouts have been only to see them look the same once they start pitching. So why do you believe Roy will be different?
A: I think Doc … we’ve got a pretty good rapport. I think he’s understanding about being honest on where he’s at and what he’s feeling. I think he’s going to lead us in the right direction in how he’s feeling.
Q: Are you confident he can get back to what he was? Or are you as uncertain as anybody else?
A: I don’t know what he’s going to be. I know one thing: there’s going to be an animal on the mound competing. Again, I think all the offseason stuff has put him in a much better position to be who he used to be. Whether he can come all the way back to that, that’s what time will tell.
So only time will tell with Halladay, who needs to stay as healthy as possible in order to come back stronger than ever. The Phillies desperately need him to stay in the rotation if they want to contend this season.
Check back later for more news on the Phillies' pitchers and catchers and their arrival in Clearwater.
Follow Erik on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.