Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Meet the Press, with special guest Roy Halladay

Nine days after the shortest start of his Phillies career, Roy Halladay talked about his rehab back from his right shoulder injury (a lat strain) and how it affects his future, too.

In the last week, Halladay saw the Phils team physician Michael Ciccotti and Mets team doc David Altchek, who specializes in shoulder injuries. After looking at his current MRI and one the Phils had on Halladay before the trade that brought him to Philly in December of 2009, Altchek came to the same conclusion at the Phillies: there was minimal changes in his rotator cuff in the last 2 1/2 years.

So, Halladay will continue as planned, taking a three week break from throwing. He is still expected to miss 6-to-8 weeks total.

Here are some of the highlights of this afternoon's press conference at Citizens Bank Park:

Q: Is this something that you'll have to re-evaluate after the season, possibly have to go in surgically to check it out further?

Halladay: "From what I understand, no. It’s a matter of calming it down and strengthening everything around it. I think from what they saw, the changes weren’t such that would warrant anything down the road. From my understanding, I was never asked to see him at a later point. Once we calmed it down and got things comfortable, it wouldn’t be something we’d have to evaluate later."

Q: Knowing your personality as someone who wants to compete all the time, is it tough to be patient?

Halladay: "I think there’s ways to work hard and be smart about it and rehab yourself correctly. The first week was obviously tough, but I found things to do,  not arm related. The important thing is just knowing that a week could save me a month. As much as I want to be back, I want to make sure that when I am back, it’s not something I have to address later on, that it’s a hurdle that’s been passed and doesn’t need to be something that reoccurs down the road. I understand that and I’m going to be very cautious of that.  At the same token, I want to be out there. I’m going to do everything I can to rehab and all the other stuff to make sure we’re doing it the right way. That’s I think a part of the reason I wanted to get the second opinion is you just want to try to gather as much information as you can so you know what you’re dealing with and you know how to approach it the right way and what makes the most sense and ultimately what’s best in the long term. And I’m very well aware that a week during this process could save me a long period of time. I’ll be very upfront with them and use the knowledge around me."

Q: How do you feel now?

Halladay: "I’m trying not to test it. Really, there’s one specific area I felt it right before I was letting go of the ball. At this point, it’s not something we’re testing. It feels good doing the exercises. I have no problems doing any of that. It’s not something I feel when I’m laying in bed. It was never that day. It was only when I was throwing in certain positions.  I think as we get closer to that 3-week period is when we’ll start testing it a little bit and basically that will tell us when we can start throwing, but I have not tested that part of it and I don’t think we plan on doing that until we get closer."

Q: Plenty of reports about your velocity being down. Is that getting old or injury-related?

Halladay: "Honestly, I try not to pay attention to it. I think at times it was pretty similar. At times there was probably a few miles per hour difference. I think that it’s probably a lot of things. I’ve seen a lot of guys gain velocity as they got older. I’m aware of that. I’m aware that the older you get you’re going to have to be a little better at spotting the ball and changing speeds. I think that’s part of the aging process. I felt at times it was good. I felt at other times it wasn’t as good. I’ve felt like it’s still there. I can tell when it doesn’t feel like it’s coming out the right way. There were plenty of times this year when it felt like it was. There were also other times I felt like everything I Had it just wasn’t coming out the way it should. I feel like it’s there. It’s such a matter of timing and all that. I don’t feel like I’m going to be throwing 98 in a couple years. I understand that. I understand it’s a gradual process and you’re probably going to lose a little bit here and there. But as much as I can maintain or stat at an even level I’m going to try and do that."

Q: When you return, can you still be the complete game guy, the one who throws 130 pitches? Or do you have to be cautious?

Halladay: As far as a lot of pitches and stuff, I’ve always felt like the games that I pitch deeper in, the complete games and stuff, I feel like I’m more efficient in those games. Usually when I hit 125 or 130, I’m kind of scuffling through 7 or 8 innings. I still feel like I’m going to be able to do that. And I feel like, it’s going to be important to monitor the throwing. And that was kind of the tough part for me through this process. I felt like I had adjustments that needed to be made, but at the same time we went through a stretch of 7 or 8 starts on five days rest. I was delicate of how much I could throw in between and work on what I needed to do and how much I needed to rest, but I think that’s going to be important going forward, monitoring those in between days with the training staff and stuff. It’s been very good the first two years here. I don’t see any difference in that.

Q: You have a vesting option for 2014 based on innings pitched, which you probably won’t meet now. Are you concerned about it? Have you talked to the agent or the Phillies about your future here?

Halladay: It’s a year and a half away. Ultimately, my goal is to finish my career with the Phillies and win a World Series here. Some of those things are not fully in my control, but my intent is to play here and finish my career here and be here as long as I can. I don’t know what’s going to happen over the next year and a half, but I know from my side I’m going to make an effort to be here as long as I can and finish here. I don’t want to go anywhere else.

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