Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay did not look right on Saturday afternoon, allowing seven earned runs to the Braves without making it past the second inning.
And there’s apparently a good reason for that.
According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Halladay paid a visit to a doctor on Friday after experiencing mild muscle spasms in his throwing shoulder. He was not asked to undergo an MRI and was obviously cleared for his Saturday start, but it’s quite clear that he is not operating at (or anywhere near) 100 percent health here in late September.
Halladay told reporters that he believes he can finish out the season, but one has to wonder if the 77-75 Phillies are going to let him. They’re currently four games out in the NL Wild Card chase.
Halladay has registered a 4.40 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 125/33 K/BB ratio across 151 1/3 innings this summer. The 35-year-old is under contract for $20 million in 2013 and carries a vesting option for 2014.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.