For nine minutes Wednesday, Rich Dubee watched Roy Halladay throw in the bullpen at Citizens Bank Park. He saw a "completely" different pitcher than the one who could not finish two innings last week because of a spasm in his shoulder.
At 3:41 p.m., Halladay sat on a bench in the bullpen and chatted with Dubee. The decision was made: Halladay, bothered by shoulder maladies all season, will start Saturday in a meaningless game.
"This guy is super accountable," said Dubee, the team's pitching coach. "He feels like he should carry his end of the bargain. And he has."
Dubee maintained the team feels no structural damage can be inflicted with one additional start in 2012. He said Halladay has long dealt with these random spasms, which arose three to four other times this season. "You guys don’t know half of what goes on," Dubee said.
In any case, Halladay wants this last start to feel better about heading into an important winter. He will totally reshape his offseason program, from throwing patterns to conditioning tactics.
Halladay will turn 36 in May and is a free agent after 2013. He is due $20 million next season. With that much at stake, isn't another 100 pitches on an already taxed arm superfluous?"No," Dubee said, "because he wants to take the mound and I understand why."
Dubee believes Halladay is setting the highest example even in a season when little has gone right.
"This is the top of accountability," Dubee said. "He isn't happy with his season. He came here to win, and he feels like he didn't hold up his end of the bargain. I think he's held up more than his end of the bargain just coming back from the injury that he came back from.
"He's going to do anything he can to come back next year. He is open minded and we're going to put together a program that hopefully that is going to fix all this."
Before that, Halladay has one night in Miami to foster good feelings.
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