Halladay improves, hopes to return this season
PHILADELPHIA -- Roy Halladay has faced plenty of questions since the Phillies opened Spring Training in 2012.
It was at that time his velocity came into question, and then a slow start led to a trip to the disabled list for seven weeks that limited him to 25 starts. The veteran right-hander began this season poorly but seemed to find himself in mid-April, then a rapid descent led to shoulder surgery and another trip to the disabled list.
A 2-4 record with an 8.65 ERA had many contemplating that this surgery would signal the end of the 36-year-old's season and maybe more. For his part, Halladay claimed to not be concerned about that, and on Wednesday, he sat in the Phillies' dugout at Citizens Bank Park sounding confident that -- even without a timetable -- a return to the mound this season is well within reach.
"It has been going very good," Halladay said. "Obviously the surgery was what we thought it was, and so far the rehab has been very good. I feel strong, I feel smoother, I feel a difference, so I'm very pleased with the outcome and the direction we're headed."
For now, that direction includes plenty of time working with Phillies trainers in Florida, where Halladay's routine won't affect the everyday preparations of the big league club. He does plan to join the club at least once per homestand to keep the Phillies' coaching staff up to date on his progress.
"Obviously we're getting back into the leg strengthening stuff now, and it's a progression," said Halladay, who had the surgery on May 15. "You start out with [arm] movements, and then you start getting into your arm exercises and doing all the stuff you do during the season. But right now we're doing it six days a week, where during the season you do it the day you pitch and your bullpen day.
"We can't give timetables, because really at this point it's a week-to-week process. We set up a plan based on how last week went and what we want to accomplish the next week, and we go from there. We keep doing that all the way through.
"I'll head back to Florida and continue doing what we're doing, and then I'll probably be coming back and forth and trying to make at least one homestand to check in with everybody up here. Once we start to get into the serious throwing, I'll probably spend a little more time up here until I have to start pitching in simulated games and Minor League games."
Halladay, who secured his 200th career win in April, is in the final year of his contract and sounded prepared to keep going after this surgery. In fact, he said the range of motion he has now, just three weeks removed from surgery, is the best it's been in over three years.
"I understand where I'm at in my career," Halladay said. "I'm very fortunate to have played as long as I have. One way or another, I was fine with it. To do something the best you can do it, and work as long as you can and prepare as long as you can, you don't worry about the things you can't control. Whether it was the end of my career or turned my career around, I was going to be OK with that.
"I felt like that I had done everything that I possibly could have done to that point. At that point, it was out of my hands. I wasn't rattled at all. I was hoping to have the results that we've had, and hope to give myself a chance to continue pitching and to continue to try and win a World Series. But at the same time, there is a point in your career where you are satisfied with the way you go about things. You have to be satisfied with yourself, and as a player, I felt like I had done that. I had wanted a second chance, but if it didn't happen, I felt like I could do everything over the course of my career to do the best that I could, and whatever happens is out of my control."