Random Reaction: Should Owners Already Jump Ship From Roy Halladay?

The Line:
3.1 IP
5 Earned Runs
6 Hits
3 Walks
9 Stikeouts
2 Home Runs Allowed
1 Wild Pitch

Interesting Notes:

Courtesy of David Murphy, Philadelphia Daily News (click here for the article):

“In 2011, when Roy Halladay last looked like Roy Halladay, the veteran right-hander faced 933 batters and went to a three-ball count against 138 of them, an average of one every 6.76 batters. On Wednesday night against the Braves, he faced 19 batters and went to three balls against eight of them.”

“Instead of pounding the strike zone with his fastball and cutter, Halladay relied heavily on his curveball and change up. Of the 95 pitches that he threw, 47 were off speed. During one 15 pitch stretch in the third inning, he threw 13 off speed pitches.”

“Of the 33 cutters that Halladay threw, only two prompted a swing-and-miss, compared with one home run, three singles and four foul balls. He threw just 14 sinkers, seven of them for strikes, one of which was a Justin Upton home run on a 1-2 count. Of the six other strikes, three were foul balls, and none were whiffs.”

Courtesy of Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer (click here for the article):

“Halladay spoke of being ready to expand the strike zone and instill more trust in his fastball. But the opposite happened Wednesday. All four run-scoring hits came on Halladay fastballs. He threw 21 fastballs in the first inning and 16 in the subsequent three innings. Half of his total pitches were off-speed, and he used his curveball and change-up as crutches.”

“The average velocity was 89.6 m.p.h. on his fastball and 88.3 m.ph. on his cutter, according to Pitch F/X data. That was slower than his first outing in 2012, a cursed season, but a slight improvement from the end of spring training.”

Conclusions:
While the conditions weren’t ideal (there was rain), both teams played in the same environment so that really shouldn’t be used as much of an excuse.  Could he not have been able to get a feel for the ball?  Perhaps.  Was it his first start of the season?  Absolutely.  That said, as Murphy & Gelb point out, this wasn’t the same Roy Halladay we have become accustomed to seeing throughout the years.

Couple his repertoire with the talk of diminished velocity during Spring Training (which did continue yesterday though not to the same extent, as Gelb noted) and it is easy to just write Halladay off.  That said, it is still just one start and he does have a very long track record of success.

The bottom line is that fantasy owners need to be patient and smart with how they handle Halladay moving forward.  It’s early and you don’t want to damage your chances of success, but you also don’t want to give up on a potential ace.  The best thing to do is just take things one start at a time.  The Braves are no easy matchup in 2013 and we are going to see many pitchers struggle against them.

That’s not to say that there aren’t concerns, especially given the quotes from Murphy and Gelb.  His next start will come against the New York Mets and should give us a lot more to go on.  Scheduled for a two-start week (the second outing coming against the Marlins), Halladay would seem like a pretty good bet especially with that tantalizing second matchup.  However, it’s hard to blame anyone for taking the cautious approach just a few days into the season.

2 comments

  1. Art says:

    To those who watched the game, it was quite clear that the umpire was not calling many of Halladay’s pitches on the edge of the zone as strikes.

    • Dedalus says:

      Of all the fantasy stuff I’ve read about Halladay’s crappy start, this is the most useful piece of information. Many thanks, Art.

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