Roy Halladay is scheduled to throw off a mound for the first time this offseason today in Fla., weather permitting. Kyle Kendrick, too.
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) January 22, 2013
It is with mounting fervor that Roy Halladay eyes that pile of dirt out there.
The look on his face means he is not interested in more than standing on it and hurling a baseball as best he can from its peak. In offseasons before, neither the sinister cold nor the fairly used muscles of Halladay proved a factor in his skill level. This time, however, this time it’s not just Doc vs. the hitter; it’s Doc vs. himself.
It might also be Doc. vs. Kyle Kendrick.
It’s been a long winter of not running up a mountainside with a grand piano strapped to his back for Doc, as his training regimen took some necessary subtractions to adhere to his weakened state. No anaconda hunting, no street fighting, no vigilante crime fighting, no scaling the side of the Comcast Building and looking out at the city skyline and muttering “This is my city….” as the wind whips through his hair.
It doesn’t seem to have to halted his progress. After a recent visit to his ace, already in Clearwater, Charlie Manuel muttered in disbelief that “He looked a little bigger and stronger.” GM Ruben Amaro has reported it’s been a myriad of “mechanical” adjustments that have been the main difference in Doc’s routine.
Regardless, he’s kept at it to less of an intense extent, with the cautious phone calls of Rich Dubee and the apparent tutelage of Kyle Kendrick. So, today, he takes the strained shoulder out for a spin, after an offseason of being careful.
But not too careful.
As he crunches the dirt on that mound, Kyle Kendrick’s watchful eye on his back, Doc will finger a cutter and let ‘er rip for the first of what hopes to the next salvo of unhittable nightmares. The only thing he must defeat…. is himself.
BREAKING: Roy Halladay has become best friends with himself and convinced his other self to sign with the Phillies for three years, $30 million, filling out the rest of their rotation. A spot in the rotation opened up again after Kendrick, the only witness to the horrifying replicant’s split from its host and eventual self-awareness, was devoured to feed the terrible hunger of dual Roy Halladays.