• May 24, 2022

Can The Phillies Still Count On Roy Halladay And Cliff Lee To Be Elite?

When Joe Blanton has the second most wins within a $70 million starting rotation, you know something has gone horribly wrong.

A year ago, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee were centerpieces of a Phillies team that won a franchise record 102 games. Halladay went 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA, throwing eight complete games and one shutout. Lee finished 17-8 with a 2.40 ERA, and threw six shutouts. Both pitchers were in the running for the Cy Young Award, and were also among the league leaders in strikeouts, combining for 258 strikeouts.

But in 2012, neither pitcher has come close to meeting expectations.

Halladay has spent an extensive amount of time on the disabled list, has lost a great deal of his velocity (struggling to hit over 90 mph on his fastball), and has been hit around regularly when he takes the mound. In just 13 starts, the former Blue Jay is 4-6 with a 4.33 ERA. He’s given up 40 earned runs and seven homers after allowing just 65 runs and 10 home runs a year ago in 32 starts. The 35-year old seems to be in a rapid decline, and it seems that the Doc’s days of glory are long behind him.

Lee hasn’t been nearly as bad as Halladay, but he hasn’t been the dominate pitcher that the Phillies are paying him over $20 million to be. He’s just 1-6 on the year with a 3.95 ERA. The left-hander hasn’t gotten quality run support or help from his defense all season, but he seems to have let his poor record impact his performances as the season has gone on. He had a putrid month in June, going 0-3 with a 6.12 ERA in five starts. When the former Indian takes the mound, few things seem to go right for the team, and it just looks like a lost season for the one-time Cy Young Award winner.

It’s at the point now where the Phillies can’t count on either one of these $20 million pitchers to go out and shut an opposing offense down. After combining for 14 complete games in 2011, neither ace has gone more than eight innings this season. The two pitchers worth more than $40 million combined have produced just five wins between them four months into the season.

The struggles of Halladay and Lee in 2012 have to create serious questions about the 2013 team. Ruben Amaro is going to be counting on the team’s three aces (again) to be this team’s greatest strength. I believe Lee is more than capable of rediscovering his 2011 form, but I’ve got serious doubts about Halladay.

Lee has epitomized the 2012 Phillies, and just seems to have had a dark cloud hovering over him all year. After an off-season to refresh and recharge, I can still confidently expect a big year from the lefty in 2013. He hasn’t lost anything physically, and is still one of the top pitchers in the game.

Halladay on the other hand will be 36 when the season starts next year. He’s already lost some velocity and movement, and once physical skills begin to deteriorate, they don’t come back. The right-hander has always pitched to contact in his career, and the diminished velocity has made him much more hittable. I can’t see Halladay being anything more than an average starter for the rest of his career.

Ruben Amaro must carefully evaluate this rotation from now until the end of the year. He’s got to determine for himself who can still pitch at a high level, and who (if anyone) he should attempt to move in the off-season to free up some room on his payroll.

Denny Basens

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12 Comments

  • Give Halladay next year to prove you wrong. As you stated a big black cloud this year, Murphy’s law whatever you want to call it. They were correct to go all in these last two years ands take a shot.
    To all those that will blast the lee Halladay moves I ask who was your pitching staff the last couple of years? Hamels, Blanton, Kendrick and Worley?

  • If I am Reub and can get a solid package for Doc now, I move him now and keep Lee. Tyler Cloyd is your new righty for the remainder of this year and next.

    If Doc declines further next year, you wont get much for him at next years deadline.

  • Doc may be more attractive because he makes less and he only has one more guaranteed year ….but then again he may be moe attractive to the Phil’s for the same reason

  • @ haveacigar

    No question the Phillies were right to go all in by acquiring Lee and Halladay. Especially when you consider the centerpiece of the Halladay trade (Kyle Drabek) has been a mess since arriving in Toronto, and is now going to be recovering from Tommy John surgery

    Its more than just a dark cloud with Halladay though. As I said, with Lee there aren’t any physical issues. But Halladay’s fastball averages around 88 mph right now as compared to his typical 90s, and he can’t go deep into games as easily as he used to. His soon-to-be 36-year old body has a lot of miles on him and, contrary to popular belief, he isn’t a machine…he’s human just like everyone else.

    I don’t think he’s completely cooked, he’s still got some decent pitching left in him…but the days of him anchoring a pitching staff with 20-win seasons and an ERA in the 2.00s are over.

  • Agree 100% Denny and if anyone watches Doc Pitch anymore, it takes him
    like 30-40 PItches (2 Innings or so to get his arm really loose and where he starts getting some movement back on his pitches but the 1st Inning or 2 his Pitches are flat, and velocity is down and he’s getting tagged… I stated that Doc has not thrown the same since late last Summer and I stand by it and the proof is in the numbers if you pay attention to them… At 36 and his Current Salary level, Doc is not in demand trade wise and won’t be going anywhere and unfortunately, he will probably end up like a lot of old pitchers at the end of their careers like Carlton,Seaver,Pedro,Johnson which is not too effective..

  • Halladay’s fastball never, never averaged mid 90s, he may have touched 94, maybe 95, but he lived in the 91-93 range with late hard sink, way to early off the disabled list to come to any long term conclusions about his future, but you are free to offer a paulesque gloom and doom scenario or make shit up

  • Agreed jake Halladay is a 91-2 guy..even Paul has said he was a control and location pitcher but now he says he’s done….go figure.
    I for one will take a look next spring before I declare anything….

  • Doc, always has had a 93-95MPH 4 seam fastball, a 90-93 MPH sinker, Curve & change-up, & was always pin point with his location. His velocity is down. His sinker is down at 88 MPH, & he isn’t even attempting to through his 4 seamer anymore. Are you even watching the games. Get the facts right, before you start spewing idiocy. We better hope they both aren’t shot, because we are stuck with them. IMHO, Lee has been plagued with alot of lack of run support, the last 2 years, & that can wear on a pitcher, having to go out & try to be perfect, when you know that your team is inept, to even score you a run or two. I think he will be fine, but probably still needs to be traded in the off-season. Halladay, I’m a little more worried about. He labors every game, & his velocity & control, is bad.

  • I said that Hallday has not been the same Pitcher and has lost his control and movement on the ball since last late august when he pulled himseldf out of that hot,humid day pitching at Wrigley Field.. He’s not had the same control,velocity or movement on his pitches consistently since then.. I stated it back last fall, this spring and now in the summer and when I mean done, I mean done as a Ace, as a #! Pitcher and top dog of the Staff which he no longer is and really hasn’t been since late last year in my opinion

  • Agreed 100% Paul!

  • Type in ‘scouting reports Roy Halladay’ on your search engine you can find several scouting reports written in extensive detail and 92 is the highest number you will see. These were written after extensive research with large sample sizes. I’m sure you both have done that kind ofresearch. On top of that I’ve watched every game he’s pitched in Philly and he’s a 91-2 guy.
    Use facts gentleman oh and Paul I still haven’t seen those huge offers that they could have gotten….
    Oh and DCAR…agreeing with Paul that closes my case! You are a goof

  • Just read one scouting report that says in 2008 his sinker was 93 all others say 92. Just being fair and sticking to FACTS

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