News wasn’t positive for Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies after the veteran right-hander met with Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Halladay has a bone spur in his pitching shoulder that has been causing inflammation and other concerns. He’ll undergo arthroscopic surgery in the coming days and will likely miss at least the next three months.
Halladay has struggled all season, posting a 2-4 record and MLB-worst 8.65 ERA through his first seven starts to the season. He’s allowed 33 runs on 33 hits in 34.1 IP, while walking more batters (4.5 BB/9) than he has since 2000 (the second full season of his career). Halladay lasted just 2.1 IP in his last start, Monday at the Miami Marlins, allowing nine runs on just four hits. He’d land on the DL within 24 hours and subsequently arranged to meet with Dr. Yocum the next day.
Halladay at least sounds optimistic towards the procedure, according to quotes passed along through ESPN.com:
They’re going to go in and clean up the bone spur, clean up the rotator cuff and the labrum, try and keep that as uninvasive as possible. From what I understand, if they go in and see during surgery what they saw on the exams, I have a chance to come back and pitch this year. I have a good chance to come back and pitch this year, hopefully be a lot more effective.
The 35 year old went on to explain that the bone spur appears to be “rubbing against his rotator cuff”, causing a small but progressive tear, which could be largely responsible for his diminished velocity.
The injury assures that Halladay will become a free agent at season’s end, as there is no way he’ll reach the innings pitch mark that would trigger a vesting option for 2014 that would allow him to remain with the team. Whether or not the Phillies would consider re-signing him to another deal already appeared to be an unknown, but this also likely signals the end to his career in Philadelphia barring something unforeseen. Halladay is 53-28 since joining the Phillies in December 2009 (at a price of Travis d’Arnaud, Kyle Drabek, and Michael Taylor). He’s pitched to a 3.20 ERA, 1.104 WHIP, 8.1 K/9, and 1.6 BB/9 over 675.0 IP over the last four years, winning the 2010 NL Cy Young Award.
If he can return before season’s end – and demonstrate that he’s healthy – then Halladay should have options on the free agent market next winter. Given his age and injury history, however, it’d be surprising to see him end up with anything more than a 2-3 year deal – though an argument could be made that he won’t see more than one guaranteed. Players at Halladay’s age don’t often bounce back from such a procedure to their pitching arm, but perhaps Halladay will perform above the norm.
Philadelphia will start Tyler Cloyd in Halladay’s next turn in the rotation. Cloyd, 25, is 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.486 WHIP on the year with the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate. He made six starts for the club’s Major League team last season, going 2-2 with a 4.91 ERA in 33.0 IP with 8.2 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9.