Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Cutting a player you drafted in the first or second round is tough.
This is a case where it must be done.
Roy Halladay's nickname of "Doc" now seems rather appropriate considering that he has visited two doctors since leaving his May 27 start in St. Louis with a right latissimus dorsi strain. He is expected to miss six to eight weeks and won't be back until July at the earliest.
Philadelphia Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock says Halladay will be shut down with no throwing for a minimum of three weeks. The former Cy Young Award winner will then gradually work his way back to the mound. According to ESPN's Stephania Bell, this timetable suggests Halladay will not return until after the All-Star break.
If Halladay avoids any set backs and does return on schedule, he certainly can still make an impact for the stretch run of both the fantasy and real-life seasons. That kind of hope will likely keep him on most fake rosters.
Even before the injury, Halladay's velocity was down on both his fastball and cutter. According to ESPN's Stephania Bell, he averaged 91.7 mph on his fastball in 2011, but only 90.7 mph in 2012. She also reports that he has decreased his reliance on his fastball this year (down 23 percent in terms of types of pitches thrown from 2011) and increased the usage of his cutter (up 17 percent when compared to last year), which has dropped 1.6 mph in average velocity.
While Halladay's overall numbers (4-5, 3.98 ERA, 1.04 WHIP) aren't terrible, they are far from what was expected and paid for by his fantasy owners. A horrific month of May is even more worrisome.
Doc initially calmed any fears from a shaky spring with a typically dominant April (3-2, 1.95 ERA, 0.95 WHIP). He then blew a six-run lead on May 2 before surrendering eight total earned runs over 14 innings in consecutive appearances against the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals. His May then ended with a first-inning grand slam to St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina before he left the game after the second inning with shoulder soreness.
Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee told the Philadelphia Inquirer that it's Halladay's failure to consistently execute pitches that is at fault, not his dip in velocity.
"There might be a tick difference in his velocity but it's the consistent execution of the pitches," Dubee said. "He is just not completing his delivery as he has in the past for whatever reason."
We already know Halladay probably won't pitch again until after the All-Star break. He may be out longer. When he does come back, there's no telling how well he will pitch. Even if he returns to pre-injury form, you won't be missing much.
Fantasy baseball is a game played with numbers, not names. Whatever it took for you to acquire Halladay needs to be seen as a sunk cost. Don't keep spending by burning a valuable roster spot.
Bench and DL spots are precious commodities in fantasy baseball. Because starting pitchers only give you stats once every five games, they shouldn't be owned on their off days unless they are an elite, Top 25-30 arm. Halladay no longer qualifies in that group with this injury.
Available players more valuable than Halladay for the rest of the season: Chris Sale, James McDonald, RA Dickey and daily streaming options with good matchups.