Roy Halladay Out 6-8 Weeks

Roy Halladay began the year battling diminished velocity and has struggled to pitch at a Halladay-esque level on a consistent basis. On Sunday, he left his start after just two innings, and after being evaluated today, the Phillies placed him on the disabled list with a strained latissimus dorsi muscle.

On the one hand, at least it’s not an elbow or shoulder injury that sidelines him for the entire season. On the other hand, the Phillies just lost their ace for the next couple of months, and were already attempting to dig themselves out of a four game deficit in the NL East. Losing Halladay for two months is a significant blow, as he’s been a steady +6 to +8 win pitcher over the last six years. In reality, replacing Halladay with anything close to a replacement level arm will cost the Phillies about a win per month, and if the injury lingers and effects him even after his return, it could be as much as a +3 win swing off their expected win total.

This doesn’t doom the Phillies chances, and they shouldn’t overreact to this news by throwing in the towel on the 2012 season, but their playoff odds just took a very real hit today. This was already a flawed team that needed to make a couple of upgrades in order to put on a strong finish in the second half, and now they’re going to be without their best player until after the All-Star break. The eventual return of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard will help, but the Phillies are going to need more help than that now, especially with Vance Worley battling arm problems of his own. The Phillies are too good to punt the season, but they need another starting pitcher, and they need another starter sooner than later.

The teams that are likely to be sellers in the near future include Minnesota, Chicago, San Diego, Seattle, Kansas City, and Colorado. The Padres, Twins, Rockies, and Royals have their own pitching issues, and probably don’t have anyone who would appeal to the Phillies as a trade target. The Cubs could certainly dangle Ryan Dempster, but might prefer to wait for the trade deadline to market a guy who will probably be the best arm to switch teams this summer. That might leave the Mariners, who have a bevy of pitching prospects on the way and could part with a low-cost veteran like Kevin Millwood or ship Jason Vargas off if they wanted a more significant prospect in return. Given Halladay’s expected summer return, a guy like Millwood might make more sense, as he’d provide some rotation insurance without costing them any kind of top prospect to bring him aboard.

Whether it’s Millwood or some other type of emergency fill-in, I’d imagine the Phillies are already making phone calls to try and find another arm to help keep the rotation stabilized. It’s the strength of the Phillies team, and it just took a big blow.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

40 Responses to “Roy Halladay Out 6-8 Weeks”

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  1. Russell says:

    Well, if they had anything left in their farm system, they could go after Wandy Rodriguez.

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    • jrogers says:

      If Ed Wade were still the Houston GM, he’d give them Wandy for nearly nothing.

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      • BX says:

        Like they did Hunter Pence…

        Riiigghhtt

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      • hk says:

        You do realize that, in their 3 deals with Ed Wade as GM of the Astros, the Phillies gave up Michael Bourn for Brad Lidge, Anthony Gose in the Oswalt trade and both Cosart and Singleton for Pence, right? That Wade ended up trading Gose for Wallace has no impact on whether the Phillies deals with Wade were good ones. The first deal was a loss for the Phils and a win for Wade. School is still out on Gose, Cosart and Singleton, so it is too early to call whether the Phils fared well in the Oswalt and Pence deals.

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  2. nik says:

    Phillies do not need to get another pitcher unless Worley has a setback. 1 or 2 starts from Matt Bush and then ride it out with Kendrick as the #5.

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  3. ccoop says:

    it’s still the offense

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  4. Sam Samson says:

    Might Roy Oswalt be a possibility?

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    • Keystone Heavy says:

      Actually, they are reporting here in Dallas that the Rangers are going to annouce the signing of Oswalt later today.

      So, no.

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    • SirTheory says:

      I doubt it, simply because the Phillies would need the starter NOW, not in a month when Oswalt would finally be ready, or whatever.

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  5. Peter R says:

    Thank goodness they such a young team eh Cliff Lee? Sorry that was uncalled for

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  6. Eminor3rd says:

    Since they hate Dom Brown, maybe they package him for Matt Garza

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    • Alex says:

      Except the Cubs already have their own Dom Brown in Brett Jackson.

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      • Brian says:

        So? There’s room for both on the Cubs if they put Jackson in left and Dom in right.

        Not that it would ever happen, since I doubt the Phillies would be interested in giving up their lone hitting ‘prospect’ to cover the 7-8 starts Halladay is going to miss.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        I’ve thought that DomBrown is a good choice for the Chubs for a while now. I thought maybe they’d pull the trigger on Lahair while he was hot. Now, I can see maybe Dempster/Lahair for Dominic Brown and some other raw guys.

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  7. jim says:

    ~2 months without halladay, already with a lackluster offense, and cameron thinks they should try and stay in it this year? i dunno, man…

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    • Oliver says:

      Well, with two WCs their chances are much better. But you figure they’re an ~83ish win team, subtract two wins for the time Halladay is out and you’ve got them as fringe contenders at best. Unless they can plug that hole. I’d bet they try to plug that hole, because the truth is this year could be the last time in a while they have a shot.

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      • Barry Jive says:

        Who the hell is saying they’re an 83-win team?

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      • Oliver says:

        Third-order wins put the Phillies at .534, (86.5 wins). When you adjust for quality, .504, or 82.45 wins. Coolstandings puts the Phillies at 82.6 wins.
        83 wins seems like a pretty reasonable guesstimate.

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  8. My echo and bunnymen says:

    Felipe Paulino is not available on the Royals?

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  9. ralph says:

    I kind of feel like the replacement player abstract is too simplistic in this particular situation. It might really be that this inury costs the Phillies one win per month. But clearly, the better the offense, the fewer wins going from Halladay to a replacement starter should actually cost a team.

    For instance — the Cardinals are currently scoring about 1.2 runs per game more than the Phillies. (5.4 R/G vs 4.2 R/G). That seems like a very crucial 1.2 runs per game difference when it comes to evaluating how many wins an elite pitcher injury would cost a team. In 8-12 starts (which is the amount that Halladay seems to be in line to miss), I’m guessing there’s already an expected difference of 1 win just based on the offense behind the pitcher.

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  10. Daniel says:

    Cliff Lee wants to bail ship and climb about the Rangers

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  11. brendan says:

    think the As will be sellers soon, right? colon anyone?

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  12. Flags Fly Forever says:

    The Phillies are currently 1.5 games out of the wild card race, with 113 left to play. So yes, I’d say they’re doomed.

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  13. bflaff says:

    Should have traded him when they had the chance!

    /WIP’d

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  14. BJ says:

    I understand how WAR works but it sure doesn’t sound right to suggest that the Phillies could replace Halladay with a scrub for 2 months and only be down two wins. Guess that’s one of those situations where the intuitive answer is not the right one.

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    • hk says:

      Why not? Let’s assume that Vance Worley returns and the “scrub” is Kyle Kendrick for 8 starts. In those 8 starts, there will probably be 5 or 6 games where the offense and the bullpen determine which team wins regardless of the starting pitcher.

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    • Eminor3rd says:

      The 2 wins figure is an average, so think of the range if it bothers you. It’s probably something like 0-4.

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  15. Marc says:

    They can have Saunders…

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