CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies star pitcher Roy Halladay was pretty fired up over a report that suggested decreased velocity and a lack of sharprness are cause for concern.
"There's zero validity to it. It couldn't be further from the truth,'' Halladay said. He was not at all pleased by the report.
Putting aside his critiques of the reporting -- Halladay is, after all, a pitching expert, not a journalism expert -- his main point was that he's feeling good and completely unconcerned about spring results. In the outing in question, Halladay allowed seven hits and five earned runs in a 6-4 defeat to the Twins but said that isn't indicative of anything being seriously amiss.
"I've had no issues. It's a matter of getting myself to game speed,'' Halladay said. "The older you get, the longer it takes. As fas as my health, I feel better than I have in a lot of spring trainings.''
As for his numbers, they are looking decidedly unhealthy; he has a 10.57 ERa and has allowed hitters to bat .361 against him. Halladay puts no stock in spring numbers portending things to come. "It's never forecast anything,'' he said. "It's like a bullpen. Whether you throw a good bullpen or not has no bearing on how the game will go.''
Halladay said his goal for the game was to work on certain pitches, not to record outs. "I wanted to keep repeating pitches that weren't working,'' he said. The report that got him riiled up cited two unnamed scouts questioning his velocity and sharpness, and Halladay questioned how someone not involved in the pitching plan (two scouts from other teams) could possibly know what he was working on.
As for the scouts saying he throw only 89 mph, he couldn't very well deny that. But he pointed out, "I've pitched at 89 more than a few times in my career. I'm not worried about it. I've got two weeks left. I feel like I'm getting better each time.''