Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay to have shoulder examined
Now all the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans can do is wait. For another day, at least.
The Phillies say they will send Roy Halladay to see a doctor on Tuesday, two days after he came out of a start due to a sore right shoulder. On Monday, the team was still determining where and when, exactly, their star right-hander will be examined.
Halladay first started to feel discomfort in Tuesday's start against Washington, but pitched through it. He cut back on throwing between starts, but it didn't help and he left after two innings against St. Louis that included Yadier Molina's grand slam.
Halladay started the season in his usual overpowering way, holding the Pittsburgh Pirates to two hits in eight innings of a 1-0 win. Everything seemed pretty much normal until he blew a 6-0 lead and was pulled after eight earned runs in 5 1-3 innings against Atlanta on May 2.
Since then, he's 1-3, and the Phillies have lost four of his five starts. The one win came in an ordinary effort against the Cubs, during Chicago's longest losing streak in at least 15 years.
Halladay went on the disabled list in 2004 because of a shoulder injury, but rebounded with six All-Star appearances and won the 2010 NL Cy Young Award in his first year with Philadelphia.
As good as he was in most of his 12 seasons in Toronto, he has been even better since coming to Philadelphia. In 2010 and 2011, he topped 200 strikeouts both seasons and struck out more than six batters for every one he walked.
Philadelphia's other ace, Cliff Lee, has had his own issues. The Phillies are 2-5 in games the left-hander started, and he got into a dugout argument with outfielder Shane Victorino after Lee and Hunter Pence both misplayed balls Saturday, allowing the Cardinals take the lead. Lee got his fifth no-decision in Philadelphia's 5-3 win.
The Phillies have struggled since they were eliminated from the playoffs last October. Ryan Howard grounded out to end that series and ruptured his Achilles tendon while coming out of the batter's box. Howard is still recovering, and Chase Utley hasn't played this year, either.
The five-time All-Star second baseman began the season in Arizona, rehabilitating his chronically sore knees, and has been doing so with the Phillies lately, taking infield and trying to reach a point where he can contribute.
Absent Halladay, the Phillies' rotation probably would be Lee and fellow left-hander Cole Hamels, along with Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick.
Vance Worley's absence due to elbow pain necessitated bringing in Kendrick, but Worley was checked out by Dr. James Andrews, who said the righty did not need surgery to replace the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. Worley has pitched well this season — 45 strikeouts, 15 walks and a 3.07 ERA — though when he might make his first start since May 11 is not yet known.
Kendrick has probably shown enough to stick, with an ERA of 1.64 in his last five starts, and the Phillies have an off day Thursday, so they probably would not need a fifth starter immediately.