What’s Up, Doc?
Reading a few articles about Halladay leaves me scratching my head as to what is going on. Looking at his last start, his big problem was location. If he can get that fixed, he may have a decent year. Take a look at some of the things he and Dubee have been saying:
First from Matt Gelb of the Inquirer. Here he quotes Dubee talking about Halladay’s nine strikeouts in less than four innings:
“Do you see many other guys doing that in baseball?” Dubee said. “Yu Darvish against the Astros. Yu Darvish wasn’t facing the Atlanta Braves.”
Okay, Dubes, Darvish almost threw a no-hitter. Dubee really comes across as overcompensating for Halalday’s weak performance, and even slights Darvish’s performance. Yeah, the Braves are better, but Halladay sure needs to pitch better than that. Gelb correctly pointed out that Halladay didn’t even last four innings.
Dubee also wondered if it was a matter of Halladay trusting his stuff with less velocity.
Ryan Lawrence of the Daily News had a Halladay article with Dubee quotes as well. Here, Dubee wonders about bad habits:
“This was a guy who did something as consistently as you could possibly do it for years,” Dubee said. “He developed bad habits to get the ball to the plate last year, trying to work through some health issues. I’m a big believer that the more you do something wrong, the more it becomes ingrained. If you do it wrong, and you do it wrong, and you do it wrong, it takes time to get that feeling out of your body and get the right feeling back in it.”Speaking of last year, Gelb mentions how the Major League’s pitch-tracking system, Pitch F/X, which uses cameras, shows that Halladay’s release point is lower than last year:
Last spring, when scouts first questioned Halladay’s ability, they focused on his lower arm slot as evidence. It affects the angle Halladay achieves on his pitches, and could be to blame for the lack of ground balls.
But then Dubee says that’s not the case:
“It’s not lower, it’s higher. That means he’s good.Last year, because of health issues, he had to get lower because that’s the only way he could get the ball up there.”
So who do we believe with this? Not surprisingly, both Dubee and Halladay are confident. Firs Dubee when asked whether the mechanical issues can be fixed and Halladay can return to being effective:
“Absolutely.Over the last three outings I’ve been encouraged each time out. I think he’s building and he continues to build.”
And now Halladay:
” I feel like the progression has been there. The results haven’t and that’s frustrating. I feel like they are going to come. I wanted them to come sooner than they have and I’m pushing for them to come sooner than they have and sometimes that’s part of the problem.”
It’s extremely important, obviously, for Halladay to figure this out, if he can. I think his velocity is good enough for him to be effective, as long as he can solve his location problems. If it is simply just bad habits, hopefully he can figure it out.