Roy Halladay expects to return and pitch for the Phillies — not in 2014, folks, this season.
Earlier this week, Halladay had his injured right shoulder examined by a doctor in Los Angeles. The results were very encouraging, according to Halladay, and he hopes to make a comeback this season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery next week. The procedure is considered minor, just a "scope" and cleanup."
"The doctor seemed pretty optimistic that if what they saw is correct, I could come back and be a lot more effective and have a chance to pitch this year," Halladay said. "He said he thought they could turn back the clock two or three years for me. I thought it was very good news."
An MRI actually revealed a bone spur and partially torn rotator cuff, something that showed up last season when he hit the disabled list. Halladay isn't out of the woods yet. Doctors still have to perform the surgery and assess the damage inside the shoulder. All things considered, though, this is very good news.
"I really feel I have a shot to come back and help our team," Halladay said.
The Phillies don't have a timetable for Halladay's return and don't want to rush him back. Other pitchers have returned to action in three months. Until then, GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. will keep his options open. He didn't rule out adding some veteran help.
"We remain optimistic that he can come back and pitch at some point this year," Amaro said. "If that's the case and he can help us, that would be great. I don't have a crystal ball."
Next man up: Tyler Cloyd
Farm hand Tyler Cloyd will get the first shot at replacing Halladay in the starting rotation. The 25-year-old will get the start Friday for the Phillies in Arizona.
Cloyd, sporting a hefty 5.40 ERA in the minors, is struggling to get groundball outs right now. But the potential is there. Cloyd went 12-1 with a 2.35 ERA and won International League MVP honors a year ago. The right-hander went 2-2 with a 4.91 ERA, and a 1.21 WHIP, in six starts for the Phils in 2012.