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Entries in Roy Halladay (15)


Halladay says he is healthy after rough outing and more

"Roy Halladay insisted Tuesday that he is fine.

But is he really?

He struggled terribly in 2 2/3 innings at Bright House Field against a lineup featuring mostly Detroit Tigers reserves. He allowed six hits, seven runs, four walks, one wild pitch, two home runs and one hit batsman. He lacked tempo and command throughout the start. He also lacked velocity. One scout said his fastball hit just 86-88 mph on the radar gun. Other reports had gun readings clocking his fastball a mile or two less than that.

Halladay's velocity has dropped since his first two Grapefruit League starts, when he sat in the 89-91 mph range. It dropped into the 86-88 mph range in his third start before sitting in about the same area Tuesday.

Halladay appears to be going in the wrong direction with Opening Day just 20 days away.

"The good part is, there's no soreness," Halladay said. "Nothing hurts."

He blamed his troubling performance on lethargy. He said a completely revamped, more intense workout program, plus throwing two bullpen sessions in between starts, contributed to his lackluster performance.

"I think I've always been a lot harder on myself than any of you guys have ever been. I can promise you that," he said. "You also are aware of what's going on, and it's hard to explain sometimes how you're feeling, what you're working on, what you're going through, what you're trying to do. When you know in your head what's going on, it's a lot different."


Lawrie expects to be ready for season opener

"Brett Lawrie insists there’s no reason to worry.

Blue Jays fans, of course, will worry anyway.

The injured third baseman returned to the Jays spring training complex on Tuesday morning to see team doctors and training staff after participating in a non-active role with Team Canada at the World Baseball Classic until the Canadians were eliminated Sunday night."


Samardzija turns corner as opening day approaches

"Three weeks before he takes the mound on Opening Day in Pittsburgh, Jeff Samardzija moved closer to being ready for the Cubs' first game that counts.

While Samardzija's line -- 4 2/3 innings, 4 earned runs, 4 hits, 2 walks and 2 home runs allowed -- wasn't what he'll look for in 21 days, he was nevertheless encouraged by how he felt after ramping up the intensity for the first time this spring.

"I really thought today was a big turn for me, just how I felt, my pitch execution -- if I missed, I didn't miss by much," Samardzija said. "The adjustments I need to make are pretty simple, I feel like."


Patient appraoch with Ortiz is the right move

"I don't think it requires high levels of cynicism in the bloodstream to have heard the Red Sox' recent explanation for sore-heeled David Ortiz's scheduled five-to-seven-day hiatus and immediately mutter: ''Right. More like five to seven weeks."

I suppose any time the Red Sox' medical team concludes a diagnosis without alienating a player is a victory nowadays. But let's just say Monday's acknowledgement that Ortiz, who was limited to just 90 games last season after suffering a slight tear in his right Achilles' tendon, will probably begin the season on the disabled list hardly comes as a surprise."


Jeter to play shortstop Wednesday

"Derek Jeter says he will play at shortstop Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Phillies.

It's the first time in the field for Jeter since ankle surgery last fall. Jeter says Tuesday after working out in Tampa that he'll "be out there" against the Phillies after two games as the designated hitter.

The game Wednesday also marks the spring training debut for Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte.

Jeter went 0 for 2 Monday in his second game at DH since breaking his left ankle in October. He had a single in two at-bats Saturday."


Joe Nathan still building arm strength

"Texas Rangers closer Joe Nathan gave up back-to-back triples Monday, but the bigger development was the progress of his slider. After the two triples, which accounted for San Francisco’s second run in a 2-1 victory, he found the Giants committing to and chasing his slider. That led to three consecutive strikeouts.

Nathan said his arm strength is still lacking, but that it has come later during spring training in recent years. He compiled a 10.29 ERA in seven spring games last year and a 9.72 in 2011, his first year back from Tommy John surgery."


Nick Markakis out roughly two weeks

"The cause of Nick Markakis’ neck soreness is more severe than originally thought, but the Orioles hope that some rest will allow the team’s starting right fielder to return to spring training games in the next week or two.

A MRI on Monday revealed a small disk herniation — or slight tear — in the C4-C5 section (neck area) of Markakis’ spine, manager Buck Showalter said."



The Fantasy Baseball Diary: Roy Halladay

Last year Roy Halladay had a down year compared to his standards. However, could you pick out 2012 in a lineup without the typical surface stats such as wins and losses?

Each row represents one year of performance between 2009-2012. 

If you guessed B, you’re correct.

For your reference A is 2011, C is 2009 and D is 2010.

I was surprised to see there wasn’t a big difference between last year and his three previous years. However, upon closer inspection there were concerning trends about 2012 when compared to average of the three years prior: the strikeout rate (K/9) decreased 6%, walk rate (BB/9) increased 66%, home run rate (HR/9) increased 49% and the velocity has decreased year-over-year from 93.74 mph in 2009 to 91.15 in 2012.After a subpar season, Halladay is looking to bounce back in 2013.

The biggest difference about 2012 was he generated more fly balls and less ground balls, which could be the reason for the increased number of home runs allowed.

Do more fly balls equate to more runs?

If we all can take out our sabermetric textbooks we’ll see ground balls are a pitcher's best friend. Ground balls create 0.05 runs per out, fly balls create 0.13 runs per out and line drives create 1.26 runs per out. Therefore, by increasing his fly ball rate, he increased his run expectancy.

Can Halladay generate more ground balls?

The decrease in ground balls coincides with the decreased effectiveness of the cutter, the pitch he throws 40% of the time:

It’s easy to point out the decline of velocity as the reason for the cutter becoming more hittable, but check out the location of the cutter in 2012 compared to the three years prior. Do you notice any differences?

Compare the differences in pitch location of Halladay's cutter:

The cutter was thrown more frequently up, in the middle of zone. Combine that with a decrease in velocity, it’s no surprise opposing hitters feasted on the cutter.

Will Halladay bounce back?

Prior to last year, Halladay was seen as the best pitcher in baseball because of his superior command, the ability to mix his pitches and to change speeds. Overall, the 2012 season was a mixture of bad luck, injuries and drop in ability, which created a perfect storm of mediocrity. The days of Halladay providing the value of a fantasy ace are no longer in play, but if he can locate his cutter he can still be a great pitcher.

Currently he’s going as the 20th (80th overall) pitcher overall at Mock Draft Central, right behind C.C. Sabathia and just ahead of Yovani Gallardo. That’s too early in the draft because there’s no upside with that pick.

For the pick to be valuable Halladay would have to hit Bill James’ projections:

There are still too many question marks to take him 20th, but if he slips beyond the 27th pitcher (C.J. Wilson), he’ll be a tremendous value.


Roy Halladay, Unsafe at Any Speed

Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies won his 18th game of the season Wednesday afternoon beating the Astros 1-0.  It was his eighth complete game of the season and brought his inning total just short of 220, a level he reached in each of the last five seasons.  How does he do it?

One reason for Roy's success is his consistency across speeds at getting batters out on balls in play, despite differences in how batters approach his pitches.  The following chart show batters tendencies to swing at his pitches by speed, and the results of those swings:

Roy Halladay, swings and results by speed, regular season 2008-2011.

Roy pitches in three ranges, 76-80 MPH, 83-85 MPH, and 89-95 MPH.  Except at very low speeds, batters tend to swing at Halladay's pitches at about the same rate.  The slower he throws, however, the less contact batters make.  That seems a bit counter intuitive as a faster pitch should require higher bat speeds to make contact.  Fastballs, however, tend to be straight, whereas his 84 MPH change up and his 78 MPH curve ball move.  Note to, that only his very slow change ups and very fast curve balls  get put in play for a high average.

Roy gets swings and misses on his slow stuff, resulting in a 38.9% strikeouts on his change and curve, 15.5% on his fastball and cut fastball.  So Roy is willing to give up a few more hits on his fastball (lower Ks, same BABIP) to set up the devastating slow stuff.  It helped make him one of the most consistent pitchers of the last decade.