One can only hope that Roy Halladay has a different gear for the regular season than he’s had this spring, because it hasn’t been all that encouraging. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com has the wrapup from his final outing:
The righthander pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed eight hits and two runs before leaving the game at his prescribed limit of 96 pitches.
Halladay has struggled much of the spring with ineffectiveness and diminished velocity. On the plus side, his velocity was better Thursday. His fastball sat between 88 and 90 mph, according to one scout, and he touched 91 mph. The pitcher’s command, however, was an issue. He was consistently up in the strike zone and at one point threw 10 balls in an 11-pitch stretch.
He walked two and struck out six. For the spring, Doc posted a 6.06 ERA in 16 and a third innings while allowing 21 hits while walking nine and striking out 16.
Silver lining: many have said that Halladay spent much of the spring trying to build up arm strength, so maybe being fine was not his primary goal. The scary part: a lot of people say that about spring training.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.