Roy Halladay’s depressing spring training ends on a mediocre note

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One can only hope that Roy Halladay has a different gear for the regular season than he’s had this spring, because it hasn’t been all that encouraging. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com has the wrapup from his final outing:

The righthander pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed eight hits and two runs before leaving the game at his prescribed limit of 96 pitches.

Halladay has struggled much of the spring with ineffectiveness and diminished velocity. On the plus side, his velocity was better Thursday. His fastball sat between 88 and 90 mph, according to one scout, and he touched 91 mph. The pitcher’s command, however, was an issue. He was consistently up in the strike zone and at one point threw 10 balls in an 11-pitch stretch.

He walked two and struck out six. For the spring, Doc posted a 6.06 ERA in 16 and a third innings while allowing 21 hits while walking nine and striking out 16.

Silver lining: many have said that Halladay spent much of the spring trying to build up arm strength, so maybe being fine was not his primary goal.  The scary part: a lot of people say that about spring training.

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.