Roy Halladay injury: This might really hurt

Jason Miller

We're still waiting for the medicals, but we don't need the medicals to tell us that Roy Halladay's hurting, and yesterday was placed on the Disabled List. What's wrong? Well, maybe it's just a little discomfort but sometimes a little discomfort can mean big things on the field. Here's Philly.com's Marc Narducci before we got word about the D.L. ...

Roy Halladay says there is a reason he has been lit up in his last two starts, which may or may not be a relief to the Phillies.

After Sunday's 14-2 loss to the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park, Halladay said he has been suffering from right-shoulder discomfort, which he began feeling the day after his last strong outing, April 24 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Since then, Halladay has suffered consecutive 14-2 defeats, first at Cleveland on Tuesday and then Sunday against a Miami team that entered the day with 84 runs in 31 games, the lowest total in the major leagues.

"My shoulder is bothering me," Halladay said after surrendering nine runs (all earned) in 21/3 innings. "It started the morning after the game I pitched [against] Pittsburgh, I believe."

In that game, Halladay allowed one hit and one run and struck out eight over six innings of a 5-3 loss.

"I woke up [after that start] and didn't really think anything of it, thought it was regular soreness," Halladay said. "It kind of progressed over the last two weeks or so."

--snip--

Last season, he was on the disabled list from May 28 to July 16 with a strained right latissimus dorsi - the muscle in the back of his shoulder - but he said this injury is different.

"It is not something I had before," Halladay said. "It is something new this year."

Is that good news? Hell, I don't know. I don't even know if it's really news.

In spring training, Halladay was all over the place, with a 6.06 ERA with nine walks in 16 innings. In his first two regular-season starts, he gave up 12 runs in seven-odd innings. And then he pitched well over three starts. And then he got hammered in his next starts. Now he's on the Disabled List. What does it all mean? Well, I think it's awfully unlikely that his current shoulder injury isn't somehow related to last season's shoulder injury.

It's also very difficult to understand why he pitched so poorly in March and early April. Except that he didn't pitch real well after coming off the D.L. last July. Sure, you would expect Halladay to have benefited from a good winter's rest. But then again you wouldn't have expected him to get hurt in the first place, since he'd been a horse for so long.

Since last year's injury, Halladay just hasn't been the same pitcher. Not for more than a moment or two at a time, anyway. He's been walking more batters and giving up more home runs than he used to, which suggests to me a physical problem that's just not going away anytime soon.

Or maybe it's just a blip. Except it hasn't been walking or talking or waddling like a blip. It's been walking and talking and waddling like something's seriously wrong with the valuable bones and ligaments and muscles holding Roy Halladay's right shoulder together.

There was some talk, before the season, that if everything went right for the Phillies, if all their high-priced veterans rebounded from rough years, the Phils might actually have a fighting chance. After all, not so long ago they were perennial division winners. Well, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley have been just fair, and now Halladay's out for a while. Michael Young's been solid. Ben Revere's been a disaster, but should eventually come around. Carlos Ruiz has looked rusty after coming off his suspension, but he figures to come around, too.

All hope's not lost, or shouldn't be. But the Phillies probably do need Halladay pitching, and pitching well, if they're going to sneak past the Cardinals or the Dodgers or whoever for the second wild card. And right now there's not much room for optimism about Halladay.

For much more about Roy Halladay and the Phillies, please visit SB Nation's The Good Phight.

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