With two rough starts out of the gate, one has to wonder how long the Phillies are going to keep sending Roy Halladay out to the bump. For now, anyway, Ruben Amaro is telling us to stop wondering. The Phillies aren’t shutting him down. From Jayson Stark:
Asked how much time the Phillies can afford to give Halladay to straighten himself out, Amaro told ESPN.com: “As much as he needs. He’s Roy Halladay. He’ll figure it out … I think it’s more about him just going back to the basics. He just needs to throw more strikes and be more aggressive in the strike zone.”
Thing is, Halladay is a smart pitcher. He’s not missing the strike zone because he can’t locate it. He’s missing it because he probably knows on some level that anything he leaves in there is going to get crushed at the moment. Maybe that’s the “95% mental” part Halladay was talking about yesterday. But when you’ve lived for a decade on a live fastball, it can’t be easy to just keep doing that when you know you don’t have it anymore.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.