Lost velocity clue to Halladay injury, decline
May, 29, 2012
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Howard Smith/US PresswireRoy Halladay, who was placed on the disabled list Tuesday, has struggled with his velocity in 2012.Roy Halladay was placed on the disabled list Tuesday and is expected to miss six to eight weeks before returning to the Philadelphia Phillies' rotation.
That would be his longest absence from the active roster since missing the second half of the season in 2005 with a fractured tibia. It is the sixth time in his career that Halladay has been placed on the disabled list and first since he missed two weeks in 2009 with a strained groin.
This isn’t the first injury to a key player for the Phillies this season. Philadelphia currently has more than $50 million in salary on the disabled list. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were placed on the DL before the season started, and Cliff Lee missed three weeks earlier this season.
Since joining the Phillies in 2010, Halladay has been the most valuable pitcher in baseball according to Baseball Reference’s wins above replacement. He has accumulated one and a half more wins than Justin Verlander, who is second on the list. Before his injury, the Phillies’ rotation included three of the top five pitchers over the past three seasons.
Halladay has tallied 1,487 regular-season innings since the start of the 2006 season, the most in the majors. He is the only pitcher in the majors to throw at least 220 innings in each of the previous six seasons, with Dan Haren and CC Sabathia each reaching that threshold five times.
The injury helps explain why Halladay didn’t have the normal zip on his fastball early in the season. Combining his fastball and cutter, his average and maximum velocities were down noticeably from the previous two seasons. So far this year, his fastball has averaged 89 mph and peaked at 93. In his first two seasons in Philadelphia, the average was 91 and he regularly touched 95.
With his velocity down, Halladay’s signature cutter was less effective this season. Batters swung less frequently, especially at cutters out of the zone, and had better results when putting it in play.
Halladay’s current numbers are his worst since early in his career with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 11 starts before being placed on the DL, he was 4-5 with a 3.98 ERA. That would be his highest ERA in a season since he posted a 4.20 ERA in 2004. The only time he has finished a season with a losing record was 2000, when he went 4-7 while posting a 10.64 ERA.