Three years ago Roy Halladay was arguably the best pitcher in the National League, going 19-6 with a 2.36 ERA while finishing runner-up in the Cy Young voting to Clayton Kershaw after winning the award the previous season.
And now, as Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly tweeted, Halladay is retiring at age 36 after struggling through back and shoulder problems all year on the way to a 6.82 ERA in 13 starts for the Phillies. In addition to the ugly ERA he also averaged just 88 miles per hour with his fastball and it was sad to watch Halladay try to gut his way through starts.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Halladay will sign a one-day contract with Toronto and retire as a Blue Jay. He was the Blue Jays’ first-round pick in 1995 and played in Toronto from 1998-2009 before being traded to Philadelphia.
Halladay ends his brilliant career with 203 wins, eight All-Star games, two Cy Young awards, a total of seven top-five Cy Young finishes, and a postseason no-hitter. The ground ball-getting, strike-throwing machine leads all active pitchers in Wins Above Replacement, winning percentage, and complete games.
MORE: Next stop for Halladay? Cooperstown
It’s gotten incredibly tough to predict the actual Hall of Fame voting at this point, but certainly from my point of view Halladay should be a no-brainer. Helluva career and a shame injuries robbed everyone of seeing a better final act, because Halladay was so much fun to watch.
Our old friend Joe Posnanski tackles a venerable topic over at MLB.com: guys you totally forgot played for a given team. Mostly superstars who had brief stops at non-signature stations at the end of their careers. Or guys, like Mike Piazza and Reggie Jackson, who were with a team for a blink of an eye in between more famous way stations.
We’ve all had this conversation before: remember Willie Mays with the Mets? Doc Gooden with the Astros? John Smoltz with the Cardinals? Heck, I had forgotten about Smoltz with the Cardinals and he was a star on my favorite team once upon a time.
Posnanski calls them “Irony Jerseys.” That’s pretty appropriate, as one can totally imagine someone buying, say, that Dale Murphy Rockies jersey in the name of obscurity. Whatever you call it, it’s a good read.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get my Ted Simmons Braves jersey for a party at some place uptown that you’ve probably never heard of.
The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.
Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.
O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.