Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay pitched six innings Thursday in his first rehab start since being sidelined by a shoulder injury.
Halladay gave up three runs and six hits in his outing for the Gulf Coast League Phillies against Pittsburgh minor leaguers. The 36-year-old right-hander struck out four and walked three.
"I am not going to get too far ahead of myself, but I feel good and I feel like each time has gotten better and better," said Halladay, who is scheduled for a bullpen session Saturday and another minor league start Tuesday . "So as long as I continue in that direction, I'm fine with that."
The two-time Cy Young Award winner had surgery on his shoulder in May to repair a partially torn rotator cuff and remove a bone spur. He also had some fraying of the labrum.
Halladay threw 51 of 87 pitches for strikes. He had recently pitched in a simulated game.
"Really, the goal was to throw as many sinkers and cutters as possible," Halladay said. "The curveball and changeup just kind of come. So we did. We probably threw well over 80-85 per cent cutters and sinkers today, and I thought for the most part the location was pretty good. There were times where I'd get in a groove then I'd miss two or three, but really, for the most part, they were on the halves of the plate that I wanted."
Halladay is 2-4 with an 8.65 ERA in seven starts this season after missing nearly two months last year because of a strained back muscle.
"I still feel like there's more in there, but I'm just very cautious of making sure I'm repeating my mechanics correctly right now," Halladay said. "I don't want to try to add on until I'm repeating every time. That's important for me. I'm still breaking those habits, and I feel like I'm doing a good job of it. I want to make sure I do it the right way."
All three runs Halladay allowed came during his final two innings.
"I spoke with Roy today, and with people who were there to evaluate him, and they feel that he continues to make progress," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He is not as crisp as he wants to be yet. It is likely that he will have at least one more rehab start. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen in Philadelphia on Saturday and we'll know where he will pitch on Tuesday once he completes that session."
Amaro also said lefty John Lannan is likely headed to the disabled list after experiencing symptoms in his knee similar to those that sidelined him earlier in the season when he had tendinitis of the patellar tendon.