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  Mon, July 19, 2004


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Party's over for Halladay
Bob Elliott reports that Jays ace has 'soreness' and is to see Dr. James Andrews today
By BOB ELLIOTT -- Toronto Sun

A bad Blue Jays season has headed further south.

Rather than head to left centre for a bullpen session yesterday afternoon, Roy Halladay is flying to Birmingham, Ala., this morning.

Halladay will be examined by Dr. James Andrews, the respected surgeon. Halladay now has as many wins as he does trips to Alabama since he was placed on the disabled list June 1, after being scratched from a start in Seattle.

The Mariners club doctor diagnosed a torn labrum at the time. Dr. Andrews examined Halladay's right shoulder and ruled tendinitis. It could be fraying of the cartilage around the labrum.

"I don't think his fastball could be clocked at 94 miles an hour (as he was Friday), if anything is seriously wrong," Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca said.

The worst-case scenario is surgery, the best case is he misses a start, with Pat Hentgen taking his place Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. Middle ground would be long-term rest.

The previous time that Halladay was on the disabled list, he was activated June 12 after having pitched on May 27.

"I think the last time I was a little too anxious (to return)," Halladay said. "If they say I need more of a rest than I think, this time I'll listen to them.

"The only thing I'm going to monitor, when I get back, is my innings, I don't think I need to pitch nine innings in a blowout like I did in Detroit."

Halladay went the distance, needing only 106 pitches for a complete-game shutout, in an 11-0 win over the Tigers on April 15.

"I always placed an emphasis on my innings pitched," Halladay said, "but looking back those two extra innings don't mean much. If I get a chance to take a breather when I come back, I will."

Has Tosca thought about playing the final 91 games without Halladay every fifth day?

"I have. It's not a whole lot of fun," Tosca said. He was seated in the dugout wearing sun glasses in the bright Arlington, Tex. sunlight, so it was difficult to judge how pained his expression was.

Halladay admitted yesterday for the first time he had pain.

"I'm not that bad on the mound, I can feel it warming up, sometimes I can feel it around the house or sleeping. Something is not right," Halladay said, "I kept thinking it would go away after one more start."

What exactly is "it?"

"I have soreness, I have pain," Halladay said.

The Jays signed Halladay to a four-year, $42-million US contract before this season, so they would be wise to look big picture.

"We have to keep what is best for the organization and his best interests in mind," Tosca said. "He threw a lot of innings last year, maybe it is catching up to him.

"I've seen him come out after 100, 110 pitches after seven. A year ago he would have thrown that many in nine innings."

Halladay was a stud hoss in 2003, working 266 innings in 36 starts -- three on three days' rest -- and going 22-7 with a 3.25 earned-run average to win the Cy Young award. He pitched 239 1/3 innings in 34 starts in 2002.

The previous two seasons are the only years, he pitched more than 200 innings since Bob Engle, Chris Bourjos and Bus Campbell made Halladay the Jays' No. 1 pick in 1995. In 2001, when Halladay started the season at class-A Dunedin and re-joined the Jays, he pitched 176 innings.

Neither the Jays, nor any one else, has a stockpile of arms like Harry Leroy Halladay.

He should be handled with care, in spite of his own self.

Bob Elliott reports that Jays ace has 'soreness' and is to see Dr. James Andrews today.

BIG INVESTMENT

The Blue Jays might want to be patient with Roy Halladay. They have $36 million US invested in him over the next three seasons. Here's the breakdown on Halladay's four-year contract:

- 2004: $6 million

- 2005: $10.5 million

- 2006: $12.7 million

- 2007: $12.8 million