Got a paper bag handy? You might need it after reading Ken Rosenthal's latest over on FoxSports.com. The well-respected MLB insider for Fox and the MLB Network talked to a couple of scouts who noted two things about Roy Halladay's performance against the Twins today: one, he changed his arm slot, and, two, he was only throwing 89 miles per hour.
As Ken notes, this could be little more than some spring training fatigue. Halladay normally sits between 91 and 93 miles per hours, which really isn't that far off from 89. Keep in mind he still has three more outings before the start of the regular season, and he is getting older, so even though Halladay usually looks terrific in the spring, this could just be a case of offseason rust that has lasted longer than usual.
Halladay has allowed nine runs, 13 hits and five home runs this spring. Two encouraging numbers: he has 10 strikeouts and one walk in 7 2/3 innings and he's recording 2.25 ground-outs for every fly ball out. Both of those numbers are Halladay-esque.
That being said, Halladay allowed just one run in 21 2/3 innings last spring. In 34 Grapefruit League starts since 2006, he has a 3.13 ERA.
I wouldn't panic yet. But it is certainly something to monitor in his next outing.
In a sidenote, big ups to both Ken and Ruben Amaro Jr. for their decision to go with the word "gangbusters" to describe Halladay's previous spring performances. That word does not get nearly enough use in this day and age.