Phillies: Will Roy Halladay return in 2014?

The Phillies must decide whether or not to re-up with Roy Halladay. Credit: Getty Images
The Phillies must decide whether or not to re-up with Roy Halladay. Credit: Getty Images

One of the biggest decisions the Phillies will have to make in the offseason is whether or not to bring Roy Halladay back.

Doc has four more starts left in the season. The decision could go either way.

During an up and down start against the Washington Nationals last week, it’s obvious that Halladay is still rusty.

“It took me awhile to find the right balance of everything,” Halladay said.

He issued five walks against Washington, which is quite a contrast for a pitcher, who had ridiculous command as recently as 2011.

“This is a guy that can pinpoint at least four pitches,” Yankees slugger Mark Teixiera said during spring training. “His command has been incredible. It’s part of the reason he is who he is.”

Well, Halladay found his control during the third, fourth and fifth innings against the Nats. The command of his changeup and curveball raised eyebrows. Doc made Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman look silly, courtesy of his breaking stuff. His less-than-average fastball hovered around 87 mph. Can Doc become a Jamie Moyer-esque pitcher during the twilight of his career? An effective pitcher who doesn’t pack heat?

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Halladay becomes just that,” an NL scout said. “Considering how smart and competitive he is, I can see him coming up with a new pitch and honing his off-speed stuff. Greg Maddux only threw about 88 at best. Halladay can hit that. I wouldn’t bet against him next season.”

Many believe the Phillies should get younger next season but if Halladay agrees to an incentive-laden deal, doesn’t it make more sense to go with him with a low-risk, high-reward contract than with the scuffling Ethan Martin or a pedestrian Jonathan Pettibone?

“If Halladay signs for a reasonable amount, then it’s difficult not to sign him as a fourth starter,” the NL scout said. “That’s especially so if the alternatives aren’t so great. With Halladay, you know you’ll have a guy that will do whatever it takes to win.

If he’s healthy now, it might be a really good calculated risk to sign him to a low-cost deal.”

Take a Walk: To put Roy Halladay’s control in perspective, Doc has walked 26 batters in just 51 and a third innings. Halladay walked 30 in 250 and two-third frames in 2010, his first year with the Phillies.

“The control and command will come back for him,” Cliff Lee said. “He’s been through so much. It’ll get better.”


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