Roy Halladay: 10 Bold Predictions for 2012
It's almost time for baseball again, so now is as good a time as any to look forward and make predictions about the upcoming year.
The biggest key to success in the last few years for the Philadelphia Phillies has been ace pitcher Roy Halladay, who has won a Cy Young Award, thrown a no-hitter and a perfect game and led his team into the playoffs in the last two years.
But just how dominant will Doc be in 2012? Here are my predictions for the ace of staff for this upcoming season.
Halladay Will Start Slow...
Even with his year-round training, Roy Halladay isn't the greatest early on in the year. His all-time ERA of 3.72 in March and April is well above his all-time ERA of 3.23.
That is why I'm predicting Doc will struggle in the early months of the season, and drop a few games in the process.
…But End the Year Strong
Bob Levey/Getty Images
Last year, Big Roy went 3-1 with a 1.70 ERA between September and October, completely dominating hitters down the stretch.
In 2012, Roy will continue his late-season greatness, making hitters look bad as he leads the team deep into the month of October.
And Lead the Phillies to a World Series
Jeff Fusco/Getty Images
Just like in years past, October will turn into Doctober as Halladay surgically picks apart opponents in the postseason. The team will rally behind his starting performances, sparking the offense to wake up for a run down the stretch.
Unlike the past few years, however, Roy's pitching, combined with the offensive firepower of a healthy Chase Utley and Hunter Pence, will be enough to finally bring a title back to Philadelphia.
Halladay Will Win More Than 20 Games
Coming so close in 2011, when he had 19 wins, Doc will return in 2012 and have a career year. His win total will be helped by more run support, as an offense featuring Chase Utley, Hunter Pence and John Mayberry Jr. will be more explosive than in years past.
And Have 10 Complete Games
Bob Levey/Getty Images
Another stat Doc came close to in 2011 was complete games. He tallied nine of them last year, and this season he'll return stronger and reach double digits.
The Phillies' lack of bullpen depth will help him here, as Charlie Manuel will be less likely to pull Doc for a guy like Jose Contreras or Michael Stutes late in the game.
He Will Have 250 Strikeouts
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
This stat would be a career high for Roy, but I think it can be accomplished. His current single-season high is 220 punchouts in 2011, so if he can build upon last year's success he'll have a shot. His out pitch, a ridiculously hard to hit cutter, will be too much for opponents to touch, and his strikeout totals will rise in 2012.
Roy Will Hit His First Career Home Run
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
His career batting average may be .123, but his strength alone will give him a shot at hitting a dinger this year if he makes good enough contact. The Phillies are no strangers to pitchers hitting home runs: in 2011 Cliff Lee had a pair of long balls, and new bullpen addition Dontrelle Willis is known for his power hitting as a pitcher.
Roy Will Win the Cy Young...
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
With 20-plus wins and 250 strikeouts, Halladay will have more than enough to win the Cy Young Award. He came in second last year, when he won 19 games, and won the award in 2010 when he went 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA.
If he's anywhere near as good as he has been in the last couple of years, the award's a lock.
…and the NL MVP
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This prediction is influenced more by Justin Verlander than anything. The fact that he won both the Cy Young and the MVP in 2011 will keep voters' minds open to the idea of picking a pitcher for the MVP award, and Doc would be the logical choice after an impressive 2012.
Roy Will Finally Go to the Zoo with "Zoo with Roy"
photo via zoowithroy.com
Those of you outside of the Philadelphia blogosphere may be unfamiliar with this concept, so I'll try to explain. ZooWithRoy.com is a Phillies blog where an eccentric blogger, who simply goes by Zoo With Roy or ZWR, blogs about Phillies games, Roy Halladay's performances and how he'd love to go to the zoo with Roy Halladay.
In 2012 the popularity of the blog will continue to grow, and Halladay will not be able to ignore ZWR's existence. As the gentleman he is, Halladay will accept the offer to take ZWR to the zoo, and it will be the greatest moment in Philadelphia blogging history.