Sadly, MLB.com’s very useful PitchFX cameras don’t appear to be installed in spring training ballparks, so it’s hard to validate these radar gun readings on a per-pitch basis, but the reports coming out of Clearwater today are not good. Roy Halladay was not Roy Halladay (whomever that is at this point). His fastball topped out at 88 mph. And while he likely won’t ever get out of the high-80s for the rest of his career, some speedballs were hovering around Jamie Moyer territory.
Bob Brookover of Philly.com was sitting with scouts: [Philly.com]
Of the greatest concern for the Phillies and their one-time ace had to be the way the ball was coming out of Halladay’s right hand. Depending on which ballpark radar gun you looked at, Halladay’s fastball was topping out between 84 and 88 m.p.h. Regardless of which gun was right, it’s obvious that Halladay’s fastball has lost the life it had during his first two seasons with the team when he was one of baseball's most dominating pitchers.
All those meatballs led to Halladay giving up seven runs in less than three innings.
After the game, Halladay, of course, said there was no problem:
But, problem: Last spring, Halladay blasted reporters for, well, reporting that there were injuries concerns. We sided with Halladay at the time, but by mid-season it became apparent that Doc’s rough spring was, in fact, indicative of a larger issue.
In his first three starts this spring, Halladay was very good. He struck out seven, walked only two and gave up two earned runs in 8.1 innings. Not bad. Until today. It would be wise to take Halladay at his word for this start… but, if he struggles in his next, well, then there’s cause for real concern. Very serious concern.