As February begins, we can start to imagine the snow and ice thawing as pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Hope springs eternal for all MLB teams, as well as fantasy owners. We have spent the past several weeks looking at some players who were coming back after serious injuries from 2012, including Carl Crawford, Victor Martinez, and Jose Bautista. Now let’s take a look at a former multiple time Cy Young award winner who missed some time in 2012 and is looking to rebound from a sub-par season (for his standards). So without further adieu, here is the fourth installment of the Walking Wounded for the 2013 fantasy baseball season.
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Player Profile: Roy Halladay (SP-PHI).
The Phillies had been perennial NL East champions for several years thanks in large part to their starting pitching which boasted some of the best arms in baseball. One of those arms belongs to Roy Halladay who has thrived since arriving in Philadelphia prior to the 2010 season. Halladay had remained healthy since 2006, but he missed eight starts in 2012 due to a strained right lat. Even before he went down with the injury, he did not look like the same pitcher we had seen for years prior.
There were several statistics which were alarming for Halladay’s fantasy owners. In 2012, his ERA increased by over two runs which is staggering. He also walked one more batter in 2012 than he did in 2011, but in over 77 less innings. And in those 77 less innings, Halladay surrendered eight more homeruns.
It is quite possible that we can simply chalk this up to Halladay having a down year due to the injury. But for pitchers, shoulder ailments are even scarier than elbow issues. Halladay has thrown a lot of innings and pitches with his right arm, and it may be starting to catch up with him. After all, he will turn 36 years old this season and is likely on the down side of his career.
Reports out of Philadelphia indicate that Halladay has started throwing off a mound and has been working on his mechanics and delivery throughout the offseason. But the truth is that we really won’t know whether Halladay has any ill effects until well into spring training when he starts throwing at full velocity and gets extended pitch counts. This is worrisome for fantasy owners who need to know what to expect from one of the greatest pitchers of this generation.
As you prepare for your draft, you can safely demote Halladay from the upper echelon of pitchers where he has been for many years. The shoulder injury and drop in performance are big enough red flags to move him down the rankings. That being said, he could be a great value pick in the later rounds because a bounce-back cannot be completely discounted given Halladay’s track record and skill set. While Halladay has been surpassed by teammates Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee in terms of fantasy value, he can still be valuable in the middle of your rotation assuming you have someone more dependable at the top.
Granted, spring training statistics do not mean much in terms of predicting production during the regular season. However, you should monitor Halladay’s progress in spring training specifically looking at his velocity and whether he has his vintage late movement through the strike zone.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free reach me at email@example.com or on Twitter (@FantasyJudgment).
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