Could the Phillies be deadline sellers?
ATLANTA -- We didn't need a radar gun to know there was something amiss with Roy Halladay, who left his start against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday after two innings because of shoulder soreness. The hitters were telling us that, with more aggressive swings against him, with significantly better results.
This month, Halladay has allowed 44 hits and 24 runs in 35.1 innings, including five homers in his last three starts. This is a pitcher who allowed only 10 homers for the entire 2010 season. Hitters are swinging, and they are not missing.
But the radar gun has been providing clues, too. Halladay's velocity has been down this year, as Fangraphs.com notes.
As Phillies' officials and coaches go to work today, they have no idea what they'll get out of Halladay for the rest of this season, just as they don't know what they could draw from Ryan Howard (who is improving) or Chase Utley.
The Phillies are in last place in the NL East, but that standing is deceptive; Philadelphia has been playing much better of late, with 10 wins in their past 15 games, and they have climbed over .500, to 25-24.
The Phillies are five games out of first place, in a division that has been steamrollered by injuries: The Nationals have lost Jayson Werth, Drew Storen and others, while the Braves have lost the middle of their lineup over the past 10 days.
The Phillies have reached a crossroads, and have decisions to make.
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