For a few innings in late February, Roy Halladay looked like the ace of aces again.
Halladay fired 22 pitches (16 strikes) in two innings of work in his spring training debut Sunday in Florida. The velocity still was a tad low — fastball topping at 91 mph — but his opponents in the batter’s box were impressed.
“He was filthy,” Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter told CSNPhilly.com. “I hadn’t faced him in a couple of years. He looked good. His fastball was sneaky. It had that late life. It was sinking and cutting. If he gets better from here, it’s scary.”
There was a contingent of Phillies executives, including GM Ruben Amaro, Jr., that made the trek to see Halladay’s first outing. The pitcher said his shoulder didn’t feel tight at any point. He’ll turn 36 in May.
“I felt like my arm is in a better spot to where I didn’t feel I had to throw hard,” Halladay said. “It’s been a long process. I feel like things are translating the way I want them to.”
Halladay takes the mound again Friday.