Chase Ultey is back in the lineup, Ryan Howard is playing in rehab games and Roy Halladay is throwing from a mound again. Don’t rule those Phillies out yet.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Halladay threw off a bullpen mound today for the first time since being placed on the disabled list one month ago with a lat strain. He threw 33 pitches in all and used his entire arsenal, after which Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee suggested that the rehabbing right-hander could be ahead of schedule.
“Again, we’re talking about a different animal,” Dubee said. “He might be a few days quicker than the doctors thought, but his work ethic might have something to do with that.”
The Phillies will see how Halladay responds tomorrow before scheduling his next bullpen session, but Dubee said that he’s “progressing very nicely.” The two-time Cy Young award winner was originally expected to miss six to eight weeks, which places his return in mid-to-late July. He may or may not need a minor league rehab assignment.
Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo hit one for the history books on Saturday as he fueled the team’s 4-3 win over the Royals with a walk-off home run in the 10th. The homer — a leadoff solo shot off of a Kevin McCarthy fastball — was Choo’s eighth of the year and 176th of his career, giving him the edge over Hideki Matsui for the most MLB home runs by an Asian-born player.
Exactly what happened to the ball afterwards is still a bit of a mystery, though the Rangers put out a PSA after the game’s dramatic finish. It doesn’t look like anyone has stepped forward with the ball just yet.
Choo, 35, is off to a solid start this season. While he’s nowhere near the .276-average, 3.4+ fWAR totals of years past, he’s batting a strong .259/.359/.423 with eight home runs, two stolen bases and a .782 OPS in 234 plate appearances so far.
His extra-inning blast gave the Rangers the necessary advantage for their 22nd win of the year. Had it not been for Bartolo Colon‘s three-run snafu in the third inning, the right-hander would have joined Choo with a historical milestone of his own: the most career pitcher wins by a Dominican-born player, with 243.