|Halladay Injury Hurts Phillies Chances||| Print ||
Written by Jim Mancari (Contact & Archive) on June 02, 2012
The last-place Phillies have been ravaged by injuries, but the most recent blow to ace Roy Halladay may be toughest to swallow. He will miss at least six to eight weeks with a strained right shoulder. He wasn’t exactly his traditional self this season, but still the loss of Halladay for this extended chunk of time will hurt the Phillies.
Halladay got off to a roaring start at 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA but has since gone 2-5. The eight-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young winner was shelled for nine hits and five runs in six innings in a recent game against the Washington Nationals, which started the concern for Phillies fans, and he surrendered four runs in two innings in his most recent start against the St. Louis Cardinals, which sparked the trip to the disabled list.
In a perfect world, Halladay will return after the All-Star break and lead the Phillies on an improbable miracle playoff run all the way to the World Series. But this world is far from perfect.
Halladay sought a second opinion from doctors in New York City, but they said that rest is the best thing for the workhorse right-hander.
The Phillies have dealt all season with injuries to their two star offensive players, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. However, the team’s pitching remained its strong point and was expected to carry Philadelphia as Howard and Utley recovered.
Well, Howard and Utley remain sidelined, and the pitching has been mediocre at best.
Dual ace Cliff Lee has pitched well, but he has yet to record a win in eight starts. That’s partially because his team has given him little run support, as evidenced by his 3.00 ERA. But he will have to carry much of Halladay’s load over the next few weeks.
Cole Hamels has been dominant this season with his 8-1 record and 2.43 ERA. He’s in a contract year, so if he keeps up this pace, he will cash in big time.
Even with the injury to Halladay, the Phillies will likely wait until the end of the season to engage in contract talks with Hamels, who is expected to test free agency anyway. Halladay’s recent injury history may force the team to open its checkbook in order to keep Hamels long term.
Joe Blanton has been what he’s always been: a .500 pitcher with a high ERA. He’s 4-5 on the year with a 5.05 ERA. Kyle Kendrick (1-4, 4.10 ERA) will have to turn his season around in order to carry his weight in Halladay’s absence.
It’s ironic that the same week that Halladay goes on the disabled list, the Phillies miss out on veteran right-hander Roy Oswalt, who signed with the Texas Rangers.
The Phillies shied away from Oswalt this offseason due to his age concerns and injury history. The team also seemed content with the starting rotation that it had.
Well now Philadelphia will be without both Halladay and Oswalt, not to mention Howard and Utley. In what’s shaping up to be a tough NL East -- all five teams finished the first two months of the season over .500 -- the Phillies may find themselves in the cellar throughout the summer.