Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay wipes his head during a workout at the team's MLB spring training in Clearwater

Roy Halladay’s ugly afternoon: four walks, one grand slam, seven runs, and mid-80s velocity

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Last week when Roy Halladay topped out in the high-80s during his start some people brushed it off because he threw four scoreless innings despite the low velocity.

Today he continued to throw in the 80s and the results weren’t very pretty either. Halladay walked four batters in 2.2 innings, served up two homers–including a grand slam–and worked in the mid-80s with his fastball.

He failed to make it out of the third inning and allowed seven runs overall, hitting a batter and uncorking a wild pitch in addition to the four free passes. (Halladay has walked four or more batters in just three of his 90 regular season starts for the Phillies.)

Todd Zolecki, who has covered the Phillies for MLB.com throughout Halladay’s time in Philadelphia, summed it up: “Never seen him struggle like this before.”

I called our new resident Phillies fan Bill Baer for his thoughts, but I guess he couldn’t hear the phone ringing over his sobbing*.

* Note: Just kidding. I haven’t willingly called someone on the phone in like 10 years. What am I, some kind of monster?

Keith Law: The Braves have the best farm system. Who has the worst?

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 06:  General manager Dave Stewart of the Arizona Diamondbacks laughs on the field before the Opening Day MLB game against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field on April 6, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Why is this man smiling? Man, I wouldn’t be smiling if I read what I just read.

This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility.

For the second straight year, Law ranks the Braves as the best system in baseball. Number two — making a big leap from last year’s number 13 ranking – is the New York Yankees. Dead last: the Arizona Diamondbacks, which Law says “Dave Stewart ritually disemboweled” over the past two years. That’s gotta hurt.

If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone.

The Blue Jays will . . . not be blue some days next year

blue jays logo
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The Toronto Blue Jays, like a lot of teams, will wear an alternate jersey next year. It’ll be for Sunday home games. They call it their “Canadiana,” uniforms. Which, hey, let’s hear it for national pride.

(question to Canada: my grandmother and my three of my four maternal great-grandparents were Canadian. Does that give me any rights to emigrate? You know, just in case? No reason for asking that today. Just curious!).

Anyway, these are the uniforms:

More like RED Jays, am I right?

OK, I am not going to leave this country. I’m going to stay here and fight for what’s right: a Major League Baseball-wide ban on all red alternate jerseys for anyone except the Cincinnati Reds, who make theirs work somehow. All of the rest of them look terrible.

Oh, Canada indeed.