So, this was to be the Big Answer day about Roy Halladay. Is his shoulder dead, or was he the victim of a little tiredness in his disastrous start against Detroit last week?
You were supposed to find out on St. Paddy's Day. However, after one scoreless inning, Halladay left Sunday's game against the Orioles.
The official word was a stomach bug. Jonathan Papelbon was a late scratch Sunday because of illness. But whether Halladay left because of illness or whatever, the Phillies are two weeks from the start of the regular season and Halladay doesn't seem close to ready to compete on the mound. His velocity is down -- scouts insist he's pitching like a guy with a dead shoulder -- and his fastball has been up in the zone as he struggles to hop it up there in the upper-80 mph range.
This is not good. Even if he is sick, he needed to go out and have a productive outing. He's down to two more spring starts. To think he'll get to 100 pitches next time out is silly. So at best, he's behind. At worst, he's a shell of the guy you used to know.
Yes, you can panic.