The debate is already raging about whether Roy Halladay or Cole Hamels should start Opening Day for the Phillies. Halladay, long regarded as the ace of aces, is coming off a disappointing 2012 season as he battled shoulder tightness and a bad back. He went 11-8 with a 4.49 ERA — his highest ERA since 2000.
Halladay, speaking for the first time this season, tried to alleviate fears Wednesday at spring training.
“I feel like the things we’ve done this winter have made a big difference,” Halladay told reporters. “There is no such thing as a crystal ball, but I’m confident that if I can maintain the way I feel right now that I’m going to be effective.”
It will be interesting to see if the old Halladay is indeed back. Hamels was the unquestioned ace last season going 17-6 with a 3.05 ERA — and Halladay struggled with his velocity.
“I feel as good now as I have in any other spring training,” Halladay said. “Last year, it’s not that I felt bad, it just never seemed to click for me.”
The other big question is Halladay’s future in Philadelphia. The pitcher is a free agent after this season. So far, he has not talked to the Phillies about a contract extension. If it was up to Halladay, who turns 36 in May, he wouldn’t go anywhere else.
“If I had my druthers I would be here until I’m done,” he said. “I don’t want to play anywhere else.”