Roy Halladay is not happy with Mitch Williams

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Since Roy Halladay started the 2012 season off with a whimper, he has heard theories on quick fixes from all corners of the globe. Bloggers (present company included), talk radio hosts, Internet commenters, and TV pundits have all speculated as to what went wrong with the two-time Cy Young award winner and how he can fix it.

MLB Network’s Mitch Williams has been among the more vocal critics of pitching coach Rich Dubee. Williams, who made a name for himself with uncanny mechanics as the Phillies’ closer between 1991-93, suggested Dubee should have seen Halladay’s mechanical flaws and that the Phillies ought to find a new pitching coach when he appeared on 94.1 WIP this morning, according to Todd Zolecki. When asked by the media to comment, Roy Halladay — normally reserved and succinct — had a lot to say about Williams.

“Coming from the mechanical wonder,” Halladay said. “Yeah, I strong disagree. To come from a guy who’s not around, who’s not involved. He’s not involved in the conversations … honestly has no idea what’s going on. He really doesn’t. He has no idea what’s going on in the clubhouse, on the field between coaches and players. To make comments like that, it’s completely out of line. It really is. Rich Dubee, when I first came over, he taught me a change up. If I hadn’t had that coming over here I wouldn’t have had the success I’ve had over here. Especially dealing with the injuries I’ve dealt with, if I didn’t have that pitch, if I didn’t have him working with me, I really would have been in a lot of trouble. In my opinion, it’s a statement that I feel like he needs to make amends for. I really do. There’s very few pitching coaches that I respect more than Rich Dubee.”

There’s a lot more if you head over to Zolecki’s post on MLB.com. Among other highlights, Halladay calls Williams “arrogant”. Dubee, who had gotten upset with Williams for interfering with his pitchers during spring training, suggests “maybe I hurt his feelings”.

This isn’t the first time Dubee has snapped at the media for wondering about Halladay. On April 21, he refused to speak to the media about Halladay’s improvement, telling them to “let Roy be Roy”.

Halladay’s 2013 season has been a mixed bag. In his first two starts, he allowed 12 runs in 7.1 innings. In his next three, he allowed four runs in 21 innings. In his latest start, he surrendered eight runs to the Indians in 3.2 innings.

James Paxton will “nerd out big-time” to stay healthy next year

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To the surprise of, well, very few, the Mariners didn’t make the cut for the postseason this year. While they threw their hats in the ring for a wild card berth, their pitching staff just couldn’t stay healthy, from the handful of pitchers who contracted season-ending injuries in spring training to Felix Hernandez‘s shoulder bursitis to structural damage in Hisashi Iwakuma‘s right shoulder. Left-hander James Paxton missed 79 days with a lingering head cold, strained left forearm and pectoral strain. Heading into the 2018 season, the lefty told MLB.com’s Greg Johns that he plans to “nerd out big-time” in order to prepare for a healthy, consistent run with the club.

So far, Johns reports, that entails a new diet and workout program, hot yoga sessions and blood testing. “I just think there’s more I can do,” Paxton said. “I haven’t done the blood testing before. Finding out if there’s something I don’t know about myself. It’s just about learning and trying to find what works for me.”

When healthy, the 28-year-old southpaw was lights-out for the Mariners. He helped stabilize the front end of the rotation with a 12-5 record in 24 starts and supplemented his efforts with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 136 innings. Despite taking multiple trips to the disabled list, he built up 4.6 fWAR — the most wins above replacement he’s compiled in any season of his career to date. Had he not been felled by a pectoral injury in mid-August — one that came with a five-week trip to the disabled list — the club might have been been able to make a bigger push for the playoffs.

Of course, even if Paxton manages to stay healthy next season, the Mariners still have the rest of the rotation to worry about. They cycled through 17 starters in 2017 and tied the 2014 Rangers with 40 total pitchers over the course of the season. Per GM Jerry Dipoto, their top four starters (Paxton, Hernandez, Iwakuma, and Tommy John candidate Drew Smyly) only contributed 17% of total innings pitched, just a tad below the 40% average. Finding adequate big league arms and compensating for injured aces (both current and former) will be tough. Still, getting a healthy, dominant Paxton back on the mound for 30+ starts would be a huge get for the team — whether or not the postseason is in their future next year.