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Projection: 17-6, 3.05 ERA
The base of any Roy Halladay projection for the 2013 season depends on your school of thought. You can determine said school by answering one of the two following questions. Do you believe that Halladay's 2012 season was an aberration caused by injuries, or do you believe that Halladay's 2012 season was the beginning of the end of a great career?
Personally, I belong to the former school of thought. Listen, Halladay's best years are probably behind him. The man is 35 years old and has been pitching in the MLB for 15 years. Father Time is bound to catch up eventually.
The biggest knock against Halladay last season was the noticeable drop in fastball velocity that never recovered. It is a worrisome trend. Halladay's famous cutter averaged 91.1 mph when he first came to the Phillies in 2010. By last season, it was down to 88.8 mph. But can a guy like Halladay still pitch with a cutter that sits in the high 80s? Of course.
In my opinion, the biggest worry about Halladay from 2012 was the health of his shoulder, which led to a very strange pitch selection. Take a look at this chart, filled with information from FanGraphs.
| ||Use in '10 ||Use in '11 ||Use in '12
|Four-seam Fastball ||21.2 percent ||26.6 percent ||0 percent
|Two-seam Fastball (Sinker) ||24.5 percent ||15.6 percent ||20.3 percent
|Cutter ||26.4 percent ||24.9 percent ||40.2 percent
|Split-Fingered Changeup ||0 percent ||0 percent ||13.9 percent
|Curveball ||17.1 percent ||17.1 percent ||23.9 percent
|"Straight" Changeup ||10.6 percent ||15.5 percent ||1.8 percent
If you want to see the difference in Halladay, look no further than pitch selection. In 2010, he won a Cy Young Award by balancing out his pitch selection. He used a variety of fastballs and dazzled with a good curveball and changeup.
By 2011, he had started to phase out the sinker. He threw more changeups and the results were positive.
Last season, his pitch selection was, frankly, a bit odd. The number that jumps out is the lopsided use of the cutter, which some people believe is a result of a lack of movement on the four-seam fastball.
He also nearly abandoned the straight changeup in favor of the "split-fingered" changeup, and had success with that. Another oddity is the heightened use of the curveball, which is best used more sporadically.
A healthy shoulder should ease some of the tension of throwing his variety of fastballs and allow him to use his "out" pitches (curveball and split-fingered changeup) more sporadically. I think you can expect big things out of Halladay in 2013.