There is still plenty of time for Roy Halladay to achieve his goal of pitching in the majors this season. But it is hard to imagine that his return will occur on this side of September after watching his performance in Lakewood in his second rehab start. Halladay was adequate enough to to hold a Class A lineup to two runs in six innings. But the majority of the hitters that he faced will never sniff the major leagues. The few who prove to be exceptions are not likely to do so for at least another three or four years. The short stop who played behind Halladay, 2013 first round pick J.P. Crawford, was a senior in high school less than three months ago.
Any significant increase in the quality of the opponent likely would have spelled trouble. Halladay displayed much more control than his last outing with the Phillies, when he walked four batters and hit two with pitches in an ugly start against the Marlins on May 4. But he went through a few stretches where he appeared to suffer variations of the same problems that plagued him throughout April and May, when he allowed 33 runs in 34 1/3 innings over seven starts before landing on the disabled list with what was ultimately diagnosed to be fraying in the labrum and rotator cuff along with an inflamed bursa sac. There were times when he struggled to control the run on his sinker and the pitch would scream outside of the strike zone. He was rarely able to locate his pitches on the glove side of the plate (outside to righties, inside to lefties). Both problems are often indicative of arm slot issues.
Halladay’s velocity wasn’t much different than what it was when he last pitched for the Phillies, topping out at 89 and generally sitting in the 86 to 88 MPH range. He generated most of his swings and misses on his curveball and change up, getting a hitter to swing through a fastball on only one occasion that I noticed.