Per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Gelb, the Phillies were impressed by starter Roy Halladay’s performance in a simulated game this morning. Gelb says that the signs indicate Halladay will make a Minor League start on Thursday, the next step in his road back from surgery on his right shoulder.
More from Gelb:
Halladay will throw a bullpen session Monday in Clearwater. If he emerges from that without a hitch, his official rehab assignment should start. Amaro said Halladay’s fastball sat in the “mid-to-upper 80s pretty consistently.” He added the team was more concerned about Halladay’s mechanics — specifically his arm slot — and the reports were favorable.
Halladay had an abysmal start to the season, posting an 8.65 ERA over his first seven starts before it was revealed he had a number of issues involving his shoulder, including bone spurs, a frayed labrum, and a partial tear of the rotator cuff.
Now 36 years old, Halladay is eligible to become a free agent after the season. A return near the beginning of September would give him four or five starts to audition for potential suitors. He is playing out the last year of a three-year, $60 million contract signed with the Phillies in December 2009.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.
It’s been a tough season for the mythology of Jonny Gomes‘ veteran clubhouse savior reputation.
First he signed with the rebuilding Braves and performed poorly while Atlanta fell apart after a surprisingly decent start. Then he was traded to the Royals, for whom he played just 12 games and hit .167. And now Kansas City has left Gomes off the ALDS roster.
It makes sense, though. Gomes’ only real use to the Royals would be as a pinch-hitter versus left-handed pitching, but manager Ned Yost rarely pinch-hits and will no doubt be more willing to use 25th man Terrance Gore as a pinch-runner in the late innings.
Beyond that, not many surprises on the Royals’ roster for their series against the Astros. They went with 11 pitchers, which means both Chris Young and Kris Medlen are on the roster. Jeremy Guthrie is not.