There is one final start standing between Roy Halladay and a winter of adjustments. The 35-year-old ace will remodel his routine with hopes of recapturing his dominant form. But listen to his bosses and they stress the importance of Halladay finishing 2012 by pitching in a meaningless game.
"When you have a guy like him, he deserves that," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "If he wants to pitch and he feels he can pitch, then why not?"
Halladay will throw a bullpen session Wednesday. If he demonstrates better mechanics and pain from the spasm in his shoulder diminishes, Halladay will start Saturday at Miami. That would make his final appearance in a forgettable season.
Both Charlie Manuel and Dubee said the decision is not solely Halladay's. The team has often deferred to the ultra-competitive pitcher. Phillies doctors found no structural issues inside Halladay's shoulder after two examinations. The spasm, Dubee said, is something Halladay has combated "three or four times this year."
"If this isn't going to hinder him from pitching next year," Manuel said, "I don't see no reason why he shouldn't."
The manager was asked if he agrees with the importance Halladay has placed on ending 2012 in the rotation.
"If he thinks it's important to him, then, yeah, I agree with that," Manuel said. "I've always been the kind of guy that wants to play. I want to see my guys play, I want to see them pitch. If they're hurt and they can't go, I definitely don't want them out there. I know Roy knows himself. ... If he can and he wants to and it's not going to affect him that much anymore, than why shouldn't he?"
Tyler Cloyd will start Thursday against Washington while Cliff Lee will pitch Friday in Miami on regular rest. Lee would also be on schedule to pitch Game 162 in Washington.
Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.