UPDATE (4:30 p.m.): This is not what the Phillies needed right now. They have won 11 of their last 16 games and appeared to finally be rounding the corner on some early season struggles. But the injury bug his taken yet another bite. And what a big one it is.
Roy Halladay did not get good news in visiting the doctor today. It is a grade one-to-two strain of the latissimus dorsi muscle in his right shoulder. He will be shut down for three weeks at least. Halladay hopes to be back in six-to-eight weeks.
Obviously, things could be worse. It’s not Tommy John Surgery, it’s not a season-threatening injury. But six-to-eight weeks is still a long time. Figure it this way: Halladay’s out until at least the All-Star Break and possibly beyond.
The Phillies are going to have to survive this in two ways. First, they likely will need to find a replacement starter from Triple-A almost immediate. How long they need that starter remains to be seen. Vance Worley, currently on the DL, threw a bullpen session today and reported no problems and was highly encouraged by the session. However, with no timetable, this will still be a long road ahead for the Phillies. Help is on the way, just not soon enough.
When Erik Kratz was pulled from his start in Lehigh Valley on the same day that it was announced Roy Halladay would see a doctor and Carlos Ruiz was a game-time scratch from the lineup, something had to be wrong.
Tonight, Kratz is listed on the Phillies’ lineup card as a reserve hitter. So was Ruiz. So rest easy there, Phillies fans, the hottest hitter in the lineup suffered a minor injury that was keeping him out of the lineup for a couple days. Halladay was a much bigger concern.
Velocity is down. Command isn’t what it used to be. His record and ERA have suffered a bit this season. All the scouts have said the same things.
I can’t remember any other time Doc had an injury other than after Game 5 of the 2010 NLCS, in his first year with the Phillies. He would have likely started a potential Game 7. It never made it that far. But Halladay had all offseason to recover and returned as good as ever in 2011. So far, 2012 has not been the same kind of season.
Doc has allowed two grand slams this season. Mostly, that’s just tough luck, giving up a home run when the bases happen to be loaded. But Halladay had only done it three times coming into this season. Two months in to this season, it’s happened twice. He allowed four runs in two innings in his last start and allowed eight runs over 5 1/3 innings in an early-May start against the Braves.
He’s more hittable than he was before, and now it seems that was indeed due to injury.