Roy Halladay has seen better days.
According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Halladay was pulled in the first inning of his start tonight against the Marlins after facing just three batters. It was the shortest start of his MLB career.
Halladay walked two batters in his brief outing and topped out at just 83 mph. Those are some troubling signs for someone coming off shoulder surgery, but the Phillies are calling it “right arm fatigue.” Either way, there’s a good chance he has thrown his final pitch this year and perhaps his last in a Phillies uniform. It’s a bummer to see one of the game’s best fall from grace so rapidly.
Halladay has a 4.55 ERA and 16/19 K/BB ratio in 27 2/3 innings since coming off the disabled list and a 6.82 ERA and 51/36 K/BB ratio over 62 innings for the year. The 36-year-old will be a free agent this winter.
UPDATE: Halladay told Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer after the game that he will not pitch again this season.
The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.
Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.
Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.
Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.