Phillies uncertain whether Roy Halladay will start again

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Roy Halladay will throw a bullpen session Wednesday before a decision is made on his status for the final few days of the season, CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury reports.

Halladay’s turn is due to come Thursday, but the Phillies have already announced that rookie Tyler Cloyd will fill in then. If all goes well Wednesday, Halladay might make a start Saturday against the Marlins.

Halladay admitted to experiencing spasms in the back of his shoulder after getting lit up for seven runs by the Braves last Saturday. Given that they’ve fallen back in the wild card standings, one would think the Phillies would shut him down to protect their investment. However, Halladay would resist such a move if he feels he’s healthy.

“Roy wants to pitch,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “If it’s important to him, I agree with that. I want to see my guys play. But if he’s hurt, I don’t want to see him out there. We’ll listen to the trainers and kind of go from there.”

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.