Thanks to Gina Lucano for the picture
For the better part of two years, Roy 'Doc' Halladay has been on an intense downslide that has severely impacted the legacy of his career. Tonight, he took the next step toward a major league return. Just three months removed from his shoulder surgery, Halladay would be making his first start for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws.
Thanks to updates from many Twitter accounts, including Jay Floyd, fans were able to keep track of the former Cy Young's performance. Unfortunately, the news was not what many wanted to hear. In the first inning, Doc allowed two baseruners to reach on ground ball singles. He then allowed the first two batters of the second inning to reach on a single and a double, scoring a run. Two strikeouts closed the inning for Halladay.
A 1-2-3 third inning was highlighted by an average velocity of 87 mph for Roy. Two straight walks to begin the fourth were erased by a double play and another strikeout. Doc then gave up a double to start the fifth. On a misplayed sacrifice attempt, the baserunner scored from second to tie the game at 2. The sixth inning saw Halladay give up two singles and a third walk. Thankfully, one baserunner w picked off and none of them scored. That would spell the end of his performance after throwing 90 pitches.
Halladay's final line read 6 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 7 H, 4 K, and 3 BB on those 90 pitches. As Floyd pointed out, it is typical for players to be rusty in early rehab assignments. However, given Doc's recent performance with the major league team, the similarities are concerning. He continues to give up way too many baserunners, both on groundballs and walks. His velocity, too, is still down below the 90's. Now obviously we won't know how much Halladay has recovered until he makes another 2-3 starts. Early signs, though, are not encouraging for even the most optimistic of fans.