It hasn't been a particularly good season for the Phillies, who have had their fair share of injuries, bad luck, and under-performance from some of their veterans. Among the detritus is Roy Halladay, whose 4.40 ERA is be the second highest of his career and the first time that he's not had an ERA under 3.00 since 2007.
His has been a season to forget, thanks to shoulder injury, a few ticks off his fastball, and his highest BB/9 rate in nearly a decade. He had his moments during the season, but more often than not, he didn't really look like the Doc that we've been used to seeing, which culminated in a start on Saturday where he allowed seven runs in less than two innings. It was revealed after the fact that he had been dealing with spasms before the start, which prompted some alarm from the coaches, who are now debating whether or not Doc will make one more start this season.
And according to Matt Gelb's of the Inquirer, it sounds like they are considering it:
"When you have a guy like him, he deserves that," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "If he wants to pitch and he feels he can pitch, then why not?"
You see, that's the thing. It doesn't matter if he wants to pitch and feels like he can pitch, it's what is best for the team going forward. Doc has been injured more often than not this season, so why would you want to run him out there one more time? Just for kicks?
In truth, one start won't likely have too much of an impact on Halladay's health in 2013, but why even chance it? The season is pretty much over, and it's been one to forget for the Ace, who has had one of the most forgetful campaigns of his entire career. It's probably about pride more than anything else, because he certainly doesn't want his last appearance in this season to be the one where he allowed seven earned runs over two innings in what was a must win game for the Phils.
And I get that. Roy is a competitor and he wants to be on the mound every five days taking his turn, regardless of the state of the season. He's what you'd call “a gamer.” But, you know, you don't win games because you're a tough guy who never refuses the ball. You win games because you're healthy and because you are physically capable of making 35 starts a season. And if the Phillies are going to be competitive again in 2013, then they are going to need a healthy and rested Roy Halladay.
It's possible that Roy isn't hurt, yeah, but what difference does it make right now? He's 35-years-old and has more mileage on him than an '87 Chevette, so there is no need for him to rack up six or seven more meaningless frames in a meaningless game at the tail end of a busted season.
I've been saying since June: The Phillies need to start looking forward to 2013. Might as well get a head start on that with Halladay.