Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay has taken his first big steps in his recovery from May shoulder surgery. The veteran has been tossing a baseball from about 60 feet for the last few days, and is "feeling good so far," reports Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
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Halladay, 36, made sure to emphasize that he's not really throwing the ball with any conviction just yet, but it's certainly better than nothing. Pitching coach Rich Dubee said that Halladay's arm looks "very, very good" and that everything is going according to plan so far.
The Phillies are hopeful that the Doc will return from his rotator cuff/labrum/bone spur shoulder operation before the end of the regular season, but it is still too early to set a firm timeline. Zolecki speculates that late August would be Halladay's earliest return date, but there's just no knowing until he actually gets back on the hill.
The two-time Cy Young winner was a shell of his former self in seven starts this season, posting an 8.65 earned-run average in 34⅓ innings of work. Halladay will have his shoulder re-examined by a doctor on Thursday.
If Halladay cannot make it back to the Phillies before October, his time in Philadelphia could be at an end. The right-hander has a $20 million vesting option with Philly for the 2014 season, but it does not vest unless he throws 225 innings this year, which is impossible at this point.