Roy Halladay has been a topic of conversation (and concern) for the Phillies since spring training. Now, the soon-to-be 36-year-old has landed on the disabled list with an unspecificed right shoulder injury.
After a rocky start to the season -- 12 earned runs in a combined 7.1 innings in his first two starts -- Halladay rebounded to put together a strong three-start stretch in mid-April that saw him allow just four runs in 21 innings. Unfortunately for Halladay and the Phillies, it was apparently after that third solid start that he started having discomfort in the same shoulder that gave him issues in 2012. He was crushed in his next two starts against the Indians and Marlins, surrendering 17 runs on 13 hits (including four home runs) in six combined innings.
The Phillies don't know (or aren't saying) what's wrong with Halladay yet, and he's slated to meet with Dr. Lewis Yocum sometime this week. It was easy to see that something was off with Halladay from the start, though. His velocity has continued its trend downward from his Cy Young-winning 2010 season: he's lost nearly 3 miles per hour on his two-seam/sinker (92.5 to 89.7) and cut (91.1 to 88.6) fastballs. If you go by PITCHf/x pitch values, that cutter was his best pitch in 2010 (1.56 runs above average per 100 pitches). This year, it's been his worst (4.63 runs below average). If you look at WAR, Halladay's been below replacement level in both the Baseball-Reference (-1.1) and FanGraphs (-0.5) measures.
All of the problems this year follow a pedestrian 2012 season that was hampered by the shoulder issue. Even before the discomfort this season, he wasn't performing to the standards we've become used to. The two injuries may not be related, but even so, that shoulder has been through a lot of innings -- 2721.2 to be exact, third-most among active pitchers, and just three innings behind Tim Hudson. It's entirely possible the workhorse is starting to break down.
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