Can Roy Halladay contribute in 2014?
How should teams approach the veteran this off-season?
Over a ten-year span from 2002-2011, Roy Halladay was the best pitcher in baseball. Use either RA-9 WAR or FIP-WAR, nobody else comes close. If you like, you can use wins, Halladay had 11 more than the next closest pitcher, C.C. Sabathia.
Roy Halladay has averaged 220 innings per year, and combined a solid strikeout rate with one of the lowest walk rates in baseball. Most importantly, Halladay has been a picture of efficiency, throwing just more than 14 pitches per inning.
However, 2012 was a turn for the worse.
While Roy Halladay did not pitch as poorly as his 4.49 ERA would indicate, his strikeout rate dropped three percentage points and his walk rate climbed two percentage points. His ground ball rate dropped off significantly, which caused more than one homerun per nine innings for Doc, the first time since 2000.
Halladay’s fastball velocity, which had consistently averaged 92 to 93 miles-per-hour for the past ten years, dropped to 90.5. His favorite pitch, the cutter, suffered as well. Before he went on the DL, only seven pitchers had a higher walk rate than Roy Halladay. Furthermore, only one pitched possessed a worse ERA than Doc’s bloated 8.65.
Overall, it was a very rough 2013 for Roy Halladay.
His ERA of 6.82 and FIP of 6.14 were the worst in the majors. For a pitcher who made a living working down in the zone, Halladay struggled to locate his pitches down in the zone in 2013. Still, he’s only two years removed from being the best pitcher in baseball. At least one team will offer Halladay a major-league contract, and after this year, it could be a low-risk investment.
Maybe the shoulder will be rejuvenated and Halladay can regain some of the form that enabled him to dominate from 2002-2011. Time isn’t on his side though. Scott Kazmir can come back from shoulder injuries and regain his lost fastball velocity, but he’s not yet 30. If the shoulder is healthier, maybe Halladay could be a No. 4 and 5. If he’s working through soreness, he could look like Roy Halladay in 2000.