Don’t let his calm demeanor above fool you, he isn’t taking the “Halladay’s velocity is way down” nonsense sitting down.
Asked what he would he say about any speculation he might have a health issue, Halladay said, “Yeah, I heard about that. Poor reporting on the extreme end of poor reporting. It couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Really, who are any of us to argue?
Yeah, I’m 34 and [have thrown] 2,500 innings, it does take a while to get going,” he said. “I don’t pay attention to that. The older you get, the more you throw, the longer it takes you to get yourself going. When I came up, I threw 98 [mph]. Last year, I was throwing 92-93. It’s not unusual. When you get older, it takes you longer. The more innings you throw, the more it takes to get yourself going again.
“I think it’s hard, the older you get and the more Spring Trainings you’re around, you can try and have as much intensity as you can, but it’s just not the same. I think once you get closer and you’re really not working on stuff and you’re trying to pitch, it’s a little different level of competition. It’s all part of it. Would I like to be throwing 98 right now? Yeah. That would be great. But I don’t expect that’s going to happen.”
This is the part where no single human alive questions Roy Halladay when he says he got this. Do you doubt Roy Halladay?
This is the perfect example of a veteran pitcher working on things rather than trying to win a competitive ballgame. As Halladay told the Philadelphia Inquirer, this was more of a fact-finding mission.
“I told Chooch [catcher Carlos Ruiz], ‘Keep calling it as much as you can,’” Halladay said. “See if we can figure out how it feels when it’s off. We have some ideas and things I can play with in my next bullpen.”
“I’m going to use the entire spring training to get ready,” he said. “I feel like we’re getting closer. Mechanically things are better. It’s just the consistency of executing pitches. It’s ultimately what I need to improve on the most.”
Again: this is a veteran pitching trying to get a handle on one of his secondary pitches. Sometimes he gets roughed up by the Twins. Other times he rolls through the league like nothing matters. It’s a process. He is, as you well know, a finely-tuned machine.
As the best pitcher in baseball, the expectation of him going out and dominating any and all comers remains. But as he ages, the process takes on different forms. Remember, the highest available projection for Halladay is a 2.99 FIP. The highest. It doesn’t take much of a leap to believe Roy Halladay resumes being Roy Halladay on Opening Day. Go ahead, bet against him. I dare you.