Roy Halladay returned to practice for the first time today since leaving Sunday's scheduled start with a stomach virus after just one inning. Halladay said his plan is to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and then make his scheduled start on Saturday, although he acknowledged that everything depends on how he feels day-to-day. Halladay said he lost about 10 pounds while sick.
"My stomach is a lot better," he said. "Just trying to get strength back. I'm kind of a little bit weak and jittery right now I guess from not eating and passing a lot of fluids and stuff. I feel better. Just trying to get that strength and energy back.Hopefully each day I will get that strength back a little bit."
Can he be ready to pitch during the first series of the season?
"I think that if I keep from today on I continue to get stronger and stronger each day, I'll be fine," he said. "If I can go out and throw 75 pitches my next start, which, the time before, I got to 71 and had no soreness at all, so I think there is a little more time in there between so that might cause a little more soreness, but I think 75 is realistic and the time after that, if I get to 90 or a couple over 90, then it's easy to go 105, 110 pitches, whatever. I haven't been on any teams where the first start of the season they let you go over 100 pitches. I think if I can get to 90 by the end of spring, I feel like I can throw 100 to 105."
Was his stuff any better than his previous outing, when he was shellacked by the Tigers?
"It was hard to tell," Halladay said. "Dubee came in afterward and he felt like mechanically it was a lot better, but I wasn't really paying attention to that. My bullpens have felt really good, and I felt good when I first started throwing in the bullpen. Throwing today felt good. The arm slot and the stuff we are working on I think is there. I feel like I'm going in the right direction. It was just a bad time for a setback of not being able to get the pitches up to where I wanted to get to."
Did he think he was going to be able to make it through his start?
"I thought I was going to make it through," he said. "I didn't feel very good but I thought I would be able to do it, and then once we started going and I started throwing in the bullpen and my heart rate started getting up, then it just kind of increased everything. I went down before the game and didn't feel very good but I wanted to give it a try and see what was going to happen and went out for the first and was OK, came back in, and that's when Dubee said, you know, we have time, let's stop and make sure we don't hurt something. But yeah, I thought I was going to be able to do it. I've pitched sick before. But for some reason, once that heart rate got going, it just intensified everything that was going on in there and it was going to come up one way or another.
It started late Friday, went into Saturday, but it seemed to calm down midday. They gave me some stuff here that kind of calmed it down. I wasn't throwing up or anything. And then about an hour after eating breakfast here I just started getting shaky and things started turning and I started getting sweaty. I didn't know which way it was going so I just tried to get through my normal stuff and get ready to go pitch. I really didn't expect it to hit me the way it did once I started throwing."
Is moving his first scheduled start of the regular season back by a couple of days an option?
"I'm sure there are a lot of options, but I think all of it is going to depend on day-to-day," Halladay said. "If I come in tomorrow and feel weak and don't feel like I can throw a bullpen, that's going to change things. But I think day-to-day is what's most important. The plan for me would be to do what we said, throw a bullpen, pitch, then pitch one more time before the end of spring and go into the season. But if it doesn't go exactly that way, I'm sure there are other ways to look at it.
"That's the thing, I felt really good about it after my last bullpen and felt good about it after my warmup, so I really kind of wanted to see where it was at in the game and I got to see a little bit, but not as much as I wanted to. I feel like it's there, I feel like I've made the strides that I need to make but just really haven't got to test it. That was really kind of the most disappointing thing about it. I told Ruben that night, as sick as I felt on the mound, I almost feel worse because I didn't get to see the results that I wanted to see. I guess you just have to be patient and let it do its thing. There are things that you can control, and you worry about that. I'm going to continue to worry about what I can control and do as much as I can to be as effective and as good as I can be on Opening Day."