For Toronto Blue Jays fans, Roy Halladay will forever be the one that got away.
At the time of his trade in December 2009, fans were more than a bit upset over the team trading its ace to Philadelphia. It was an admittance that the team needed to rebuild, a waving of the white flag that fans knew was coming, but wanted to pretend would never come.
Now, three-plus seasons removed from his Blue Jays uniform, Halladay’s name still carries some weight in these parts. The true fans always held out hope that the Jays and Halladay would one day be reunited.
Unfortunately, the arrival of that day seems more and more in doubt.
Halladay was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday with shoulder discomfort that has apparently been nagging the 35-year-old right-hander for the better part of two weeks. He is slated to visit with Dr. Lewis Yocum to review the shoulder injury and discuss options moving forward, according to Jayson Start at ESPN.
The injury apparently dates back to an April 24th start against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In that start, Halladay threw six innings of 1-hit ball and striking out 8 in the process. However, the overall 2013 body of work for Halladay have been atrocious, with the former ace struggling to a 2-4 record, an 8.65 ERA, a 4.5 BB/9 ratio, and a -1.1 bWAR through 7 starts this season.
The final kick in the teeth came on Sunday, when the lowly Miami Marlins, they of the 30th-ranked offense in baseball, knocked Halladay around for 9 runs in 2.1 innings, giving Halladay his second straight start with a game score of 13 or lower.
Because of the middling results, coupled with his slip in performance during the 2012 season, the speculation that the end may be sneaking up on Halladay is running rampant. That may be a bit premature until an official medical report is out, but we are talking about a pitcher with more innings on his arm than just about any other in baseball.
Doc was a one-of-a-kind arm in a generation dominated by five-man rotations, specialized relievers, and pitch counts. Halladay has thrown seven different seasons with more than 220 innings pitched, including 266 and 250.2 in his Cy Young seasons of 2003 and 2010 respectively. He had a run of six consecutive seasons where he averaged more than 236 innings per season.
All that effort has lead to some fantastic results on the field. 2 Cy Young Awards, 7 Top 5 finished in the Cy Young voting, 8 All-Star selections, 201 career wins, a 3.37 career ERA, 2101 career strike-outs, and a cumulative bWAR of 65.5 over a 16-year career.
If this really is the last ride for Roy Halladay, he’s had one hell of career. But knowing Doc, something tells me he still has a little something left in the well to draw from.