Roy Halladay throws for first time since lat muscle injury

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Roy Halladay still has a long way to go in his recovery from a strained right lat muscle, but he took a small step in the right direction today.

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Halladay played catch with Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee this afternoon at Rogers Centre. It was his first time throwing since being shut down after leaving a start against the Cardinals on May 27.

Halladay made a total of 30 tosses from a distance of 60 feet and plans to do the same Sunday.

“I felt good,” he said. “This is one of the steps. It was good. The other [steps] have been good so far, so we’ll go from there.”

Halladay was originally expected to be shut down for three whole weeks, so he’s actually a couple days ahead of schedule right now. Barring any setbacks this weekend, the veteran right-hander plans to pick up the intensity of his throwing on Tuesday.

The original timetable had Halladay missing 6-8 weeks, so he could rejoin the Phillies’ rotation by the end of July if he can remain on schedule.

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

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We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.