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.
The Arizona Fall League competition came to a close on Saturday, concluding with the Peoria Javelinas’ 8-2 win over the Mesa Solar Sox for the championship title. No one stood out more than Braves’ no. 1 prospect Ronald Acuna, who took home honors as the AFL MVP after slashing .325/.414/.639 with a league-leading seven home runs and second-best 1.053 OPS in 83 at-bats.
At just 19 years old, Acuna is the youngest prospect to receive the award. He made his presence felt even before he suited up for the AFL, earning promotions to the Braves’ Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett and batting a remarkable .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs across three levels in 2017.
Acuna was also a major factor in the Javelinas’ win on Saturday, but he wasn’t the first to make some noise. The Solar Sox got to right-hander T.J. Zeuch in the first inning, leading off with three singles and a run-scoring sac fly to get a 2-0 edge over the Javelinas. It was the only lead they’d get all afternoon and it lasted just two innings. Luis Urias snapped the shutout with a sac fly in the bottom of the second inning, and the Javelinas took the lead with a game-tying RBI single from Acuna and two-run base hit from Braves’ no. 16 prospect Alex Jackson in the third.
From then on, it was smooth sailing for Peoria. Andrew Case, Andres Munoz and Art Warren combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, while the offense tacked on another handful of runs with Acuna’s fourth-inning two-RBI single and Michael Chavis’ eighth-inning triple. With runners at the corners and one out, the Solar Sox lifted right-hander Dakota Bacus for fellow righty Nolan Blackwood. Even he was flummoxed by Acuna, however, who grabbed hold of the first pitch he saw and returned another sac fly to center field for the Javelinas’ eighth and final run of the game.
Only 131 days left until Opening Day, folks.