There was a hopeful and cautiously optimistic tone in Phillies camp the first month of spring training.
That changed Tuesday.
With every pitch that Roy Halladay threw, the atmosphere turned anxious and uncomfortable.
In his fourth start of the spring, Halladay was bruised for six hits and seven runs in 2 2/3 innings by a Detroit Tigers team that didn’t even include Miguel Cabrera or Prince Fielder.
Halladay’s fastball topped out at a meager 87 mph, according to one scout who observed from behind the backstop. The 35-year-old righthander struggled mightily with his command as he appeared to be trying to avoid bats. He walked four, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. Two of the hits he gave up were homers, including a siren-sounding first-pitch grand slam to Ramon Santiago with two outs in the third inning. Eleven of the 18 batters that Halladay faced reached base.
In this game, the hitters will ultimately tell a pitcher which way he’s headed. The Detroit hitters spoke loudly, and it couldn’t have been pleasant for Phillies officials to hear.
“Yeah, it concerns me,” said manager Charlie Manuel, who met with GM Ruben Amaro Jr. after the game.
It was unclear what that meeting was about, but Halladay, coming off an injury-plagued and disappointing season in 2012, has been one of the big topics in camp. His productivity is crucial to the team’s chances.
Manuel, who was downcast after the 10-6 loss, went on to say that Halladay was healthy and needed to keep working to be ready for the regular season.
Concern in Clearwater: Halladay battered by Tigers
CSN Philly | Mar 13