Phils confident Doc will cure early problems

Phils confident Doc will cure early problems

ATLANTA -- On Thursday, less than 24 hours after Roy Halladay needed 95 pitches to record 10 outs, the Phillies maintained a rosy disposition, insisting that the two-time Cy Young Award winner is going to be better.

They were asked if they understood the skepticism following Halladay's substandard 2012 and poor Spring Training.

"Nobody has our patience either, probably," pitching coach Rich Dubee said before the series finale against the Braves. "I've always said, when you judge players, you go off their track records. And who has a longer, better track record than this guy? I mean, who does? And not only a track record as far as being a quality pitcher, but as far as being a quality person with credentials that are out of this world."

"Yeah, because he set the standards so high," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "It's Roy Halladay. The expectation is [that] he's going out there and throwing eight shutout innings every time. But we're here to win baseball games, and he's going to help us win games, whether it's pitching six, seven, eight or nine [innings]. He's going to help us."

Dubee talked at length about Halladay's outing on Wednesday, saying he sees a pitcher who is going to solve his problems and become a winner again.

"As far as Doc's stuff, I feel very good about it," Dubee said. "I think he continues to build. Like I said, his last two outings in Spring Training, he's starting to build momentum. Is he there yet? No. But I thought his stuff continues to improve. The one thing he's not doing, he's not commanding it like he needs to."

Halladay threw 50 percent offspeed pitches on Wednesday, which has not been his style. In fact, he threw very few fastballs after being knocked around in the first inning.

"I don't know if it's an issue of trusting his stuff as much as trying to get to where he understands what his stuff is and how it's going to play and how he can work off that," Dubee said. "It's still a phase where he's trying to find out what he's going to have and what he's going to be able to do. … He's still got swing-and-miss stuff, and he's got to find a way -- and we have to find a way -- to be a little more aggressive and get quicker outs."

But Dubee doesn't think Halladay is afraid to throw his fastball, which lacks the velocity of the past.

"He's still got real good movement," he said. "I thought he threw some real good cutters down and away from right-handers, which he hadn't been able to do."

Dubee said Halladay hadn't been able to do that because of bad habits he picked up last season, when he pitched with back and shoulder problems.

"This was a guy who did something as consistently as you could possibly do it for years," Dubee said. "[There were] bad habits to get the ball to the plate last year, trying to work through some of the health issues. And I'm a big believer that the more you do something wrong, the more it becomes ingrained. If you do it wrong and you do it wrong and you do it wrong, it takes time to get that feeling out of your body and get the right feeling back in it.

"I'm starting to see some results. You think I'm going to take the ball away from this guy? You're talking about a two-time Cy Young Award winner. What do you think, we're going to put him in the bullpen? I'm seeing results. I'm seeing nine strikeouts out of 10 outs last night. Do you see many other guys doing that in baseball? Yu Darvish against the Astros. Yu Darvish wasn't facing the Atlanta Braves."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.