Roy Halladay is headed to the DL
Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay thought there was no reason to worry. Everything that was happening was precautionary. Phillies fans were still holding their breath, but let a little bit of air out to hear that everyone in and around the team thought everything would be OK.
Turns out they aren't, according to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.
"#Phillies: Halladay will be shut down for 3 weeks with strained lat (shoulder). Out 6 to 8 weeks," he wrote on Twitter.
After Philadelphia was led to believe that things would OK, this news comes as a shock.
The knee-jerk reaction is to panic, but I'm going to give you five reasons why the Phillies will survive this injury.
Roy Halladay is usually one of the best pitchers in the MLB, but that just hasn't been the case this season.
Doc, usually a winner, is 4-5 with a 3.98 ERA. According to ESPN.com, Halladay's ERA ranks 43rd out of 65 qualified starting pitchers. Pedestrian implies "middle-of-the-road" or average, and by the latter definition, Halladay doesn't even fit that standard.
There's no question this hurts most because everyone, including me, believed he would eventually find his form. But the fact of the matter is that the Phillies have been winning of late with a Roy Halladay that is replaceable.
Kendrick threw his first career complete-game shutout in his last outing
Kyle Kendrick has never been my favorite. His stuff tended to be flat, and I expected him to get hit around more than I thought he'd be effective.
But the man deserves the credit.
Sure, he threw his first complete-game shutout in a 4-0 win against the St. Louis Cardinals. But the Phillies don't need one-hit wonders. They need consistency.
Even I was surprised when I checked the stats.
Kendrick is sporting a 2.89 ERA in the month of May. He's only be rewarded with one win, but he's pitching well enough to earn more.
I'm not counting on him to toss a shutout every turn in the rotation, but I like his odds to pitch better than 3.98 earned runs per game.
Vance Worley should be back in the rotation soon
Vance Worley seems to be on track to return to the Phillies' rotation at the right time.
Before his injury, the "Vanimal" was out-pitching everyone in the rotation, less Cole Hamels.
Despite two rough starts before hitting the disabled list, which may have been an affect of his elbow issues, Worley has a 3.07 ERA.
If he's 100 percent when he returns, I have all the confidence in Vance Worley keeping it up.
Cliff Lee is due for his first win of the season
Cliff Lee is long overdue to win his first game of the 2012 season.
Everyone knows this guy is a straight gamer, and it's shocking that he hasn't been able to win yet this year.
Times like these were made for guys like Cliff Lee. When the pressure is heightened, the man steps up. Just check his postseason track record.
It doesn't get any more pressured-filled than in his second start pitching for the Phils without Roy Halladay. Lee is set to battle Clayton Kershaw and the NL-leading Los Angeles Dodgers in the home opener of a four-game set next Monday.
I am boldly predicting that Lee gets the win in this game and gets a hit off of Kershaw.
I will also predict that in Halladay's absence, Cliff Lee's ERA will be no higher than 2.50. Mark it down and hold me to it.
Cole Hamels has to be the early leader for the NL Cy Young
Cole Hamels may be pitching in times of personal turmoil, but for a guy who has been labeled as mentally weak in the past, he is pitching lights-out.
At 8-1 with a 2.43 ERA, Hamels is carrying this team and rotation. If he keeps this up all year and the Phillies win the NL East, he will be deserving of MVP consideration.
I look for him to respond in the same way Cliff Lee will. It may be hard to imagine, but Hamels can still improve upon his start, and I believe he will.
It's not going to be easy, but over the years, this team has consistently found ways to win despite key injuries. Thanks to their mental makeup, this club can and will survive.