Scout ‘Concerned’ About Halladay in Spring Training

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Roy Halladay's injury is, quite obviously, a serious concern right now. But how long were people worried about Halladay's performance this year?

Longer than you might think if you believe the anonymous scout who told Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he was "concerned" about Doc "in spring training."

"I was concerned about him when I saw him in spring training because his arm angle was lower," said the scout, who requested anonymity. "I watched him the previous three springs throwing 90 to 94 [mph] with late, nasty stuff, and this year I watched him having trouble getting through the third inning."

The scout says that he saw "20 flat cutters and sinkers" during Halladay's first two starts in spring training and also said that Halladay's cutter in the spring wasn't tailing off late and that his sinker "stayed flat" through the strike zone.

This doesn't necessarily explain how Halladay started the season so well, though. In April, Halladay went 5-for-5 on quality starts, never went less than seven innings, had an ERA of 1.95 and struck out 24 batters in 37 innings (to just 10 walks).

Apparently this scout believes that Halladay was trying to "reinvent himself" but couldn't completely pull it off because he wasn't healthy enough.

"I think he's trying to reinvent himself, but apparently he isn't healthy enough to do it," the scout told Narducci.

If that is the case, it might explain what happened in May, if Halladay's injuries really acted up and he couldn't reinvent himself the way he wanted -- during the last month Halladay sported a 6.11 ERA and gave up 24 earned runs to 32 strikeouts (in 35 innings).

Oddly, Halladay walked fewer batters (4) in May than he did in April. Perhaps that's because he wasn't getting enough movement on the ball to really get it out of the zone. Or perhaps it was because batters were too busy putting wood on the ball.

The second part doesn't totally jive, though, simply because Halladay did put together three-straight quality starts sandwiched between some really bad outings.

It would certainly be interesting to go back and look at some of the tape from Halladay's performance and/or find out if he was dealing with injury and a loss of command, movement and velocity before this season.

And I certainly can't prove the scout in question wrong, but there was a lot to like about Halladay's performance in the first month of the season. So while clearly there's reason to be concerned about Halladay at the moment, it seems more like 20/20 hindsight to figure out -- at least now -- that his problems began in spring training.

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