Good news today out of Clearwater, Florida.
According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, right-hander Roy Halladay threw 30 pitches off a mound Tuesday afternoon at the Phillies’ spring training complex. The workout, which was overseen by pitching coach Rich Dubee, reportedly went well.
Halladay missed time last year because of a shoulder issue and posted his worst ERA (4.49) since 2000. But he didn’t need surgery, has not experienced any sort of issues so far this winter and is capable of bouncing back in a big way in 2013.
The 35-year-old must reach 225 innings this summer to trigger a $20 million vesting option for 2014. If the option doesn’t vest, Halladay will become a free agent.
Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.
Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.
The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.
In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.