Roy Halladay almost cracked a smile while discussing his comeback. Doc is traveling to Florida Thursday to face live hitters after throwing a five-inning bullpen session on Monday.
“I feel really good,” Halladay said. “There are days when it feels like the ball jumps better than others but I feel good. There have been no setbacks.”
Halladay didn’t talk about his velocity.
“I think arm slot is more important than that,” Halladay said. “I like where my arm slot is. My arm slot hasn’t been in that spot since 2011.”
Halladay threw a 75-pitch session. He’s around the early- to mid-spring training point. Don’t expect the once-dominant hurler to hurry back since his deal with the Phillies expires at the end of the season.
“I just want to play,” Halladay said. “It’s not about me coming back for a contract next season.”
Halladay said he wants to pitch for a team that could win next season. Despite the Phillies’ disappointing season and recent freefall, Halladay is confident the Phils can turn it around next year.
“I see a lot here that I like,” Halladay said. “You have Chase Utley … I see Domonic Brown as a positive. We’ll see what Ryan Howard does this winter. I really like what I see. This would be my first choice [to play in 2014].”
If the Phillies are interested in bringing Halladay back, he would like to see the organization extend pitching coach Rich Dubee.
“To me, it’s important,” Halladay said. “I feel that the longer a guy knows me, the more he can help me. Rich has helped me tremendously.”
Halladay is confident he can turn back the clock and, at the very least, pitch much better than he did earlier this season.
“I want to pitch at a higher level,” Halladay said.
If Halladay impresses in September, MLB analyst — and former Phillies manager Larry Bowa — believes the Phillies should ink Doc to a deal.
“If Halladay shows that he can pitch, the Phillies need to bring him back for 2014,” Bowa said. “If they can sign him to a team-friendly deal, maybe half of what he made ($10 million per season) or a deal full of incentives, then they have to bring him back.
“If you have him, [Cole] Hamels, Cliff [Lee], that’s a good top three and if you add [Kyle] Kendrick as the fourth starter, that’s a team that can get right back in there as contenders. It’ll be interesting to see what Halladay can do.”,