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Sunday, August 12, 2012 - Page updated at 09:30 p.m.
Phillies ponder near future of pitcher Roy Halladay
With all the talk about the Nationals' impending shutdown of Stephen Strasburg, it will be interesting to see what the Phillies do with Roy Halladay.
Whether or not to shut down the 35-year-old Halladay has become a hot topic in Philadelphia, considering the Phillies are out of playoff contention. Halladay spent almost two months on the disabled list earlier this year with a strained shoulder, and has thrown more than 2,500 innings in his career.
It seems logical to back Halladay off in hopes of having him come back strong next season. But Halladay himself is dead set against the idea.
"I will do everything I possibly can to not do that," Halladay told reporters. "I talked to Charlie (manager Charlie Manuel) about it. I want to pitch. I'm here to pitch. I don't need rest."
Manuel had seemed to support the idea of not pitching Halladay, but it sounds like Halladay's stance is winning out.
"When you talk about shutting him down, that's a good argument," he said. "But, at the same time, I'm old school, and old school is throw. That's how you build your arm back up.
"Nowadays, you look at it and say, 'Well, why don't you shut him down or send him home or something?' If Robin Roberts were here, he'd tell you, 'Keep throwing.' Or Bob Gibson or Sandy Koufax. Guys like that would tell him to keep throwing to get his arm strong again."
Strasburg can hit, too
Speaking of Strasburg, we all know that the Nationals plan to shut him down when he reaches an undisclosed innings limit. But I wonder if they'll shut down his bat. Strasburg has a .316 average (12 for 38) and was leading all pitchers in batting average before Friday's 0-for-3 night (minimum 27 at-bats).
The highest average by a pitcher in a full season since 1974, minimum 35 at-bats, is Orel Hershiser's .356 in 1993.
Morneau proud of 200th
Justin Morneau hit his 200th career homer on Monday, and reflected on how his perspective has changed since he hit No. 100 in 2007. Since then, Morneau has battled concussions and other injuries.
"I think sometimes when you're younger, you kind of take it for granted that you're going to play until you're 40, and everything's going to go great," Morneau told reporters. "But you go through some tough times, and everybody does, but this is something you can be proud of to be sure."
Morneau, 31, is getting a second wind. He's hitting .341 with a .950 OPS since the All-Star break.
Notes and quotes
• The Brewers bid farewell to Cesar Izturis (claimed on waivers by Washington) and called up Jean Segura from Class AA Huntsville to take over at shortstop.
Segura is the first of the three minor-league prospects obtained from the Angels in the Zack Greinke trade on July 27 to make it up to the majors.
• Philip Humber, who pitched a perfect game against the Mariners at Safeco Field on April 21, has been moved to the bullpen. But he takes umbrage with those who call it a demotion.
"I don't think that going to the bullpen is a demotion," Humber told the Chicago Tribune. "That's disrespectful to the guys who are in the bullpen to say, 'I'm good enough to start.' Well, I'm hoping I'm good enough to be in the bullpen. That's the attitude I take as far as whatever role I'm given. Whenever they give me the ball, I'm going to do the best I can with it."
In 14 starts after the perfecto, Humber had a 7.21 ERA.
• Mike Trout has obviously been a tremendous catalyst for the Angels. Heading into the weekend, they were 53-39 (.576) since he was called up. But the A's are even better — 48-29 (.623) — with Yoenis Cespedes in the lineup.
Cespedes is hitting .402 since the All-Star break. The only one better is Buster Posey (.446).
• When the Indians traded Cliff Lee to the Phillies in 2009 — the first of three trades involving Lee, the latter two of them involving the Mariners — the top prospect of the four they received was pitcher Jason Knapp.
Well, on Wednesday the Indians released Knapp. He had two shoulder surgeries and pitched in just 13 minor-league games in three years, never rising above Class A. Knapp hasn't pitched in a game in more than two years.
In the Lee trade, the Indians also received pitcher Carlos Carrasco, who is out all season recovering from Tommy John surgery; utility man Jason Donald; and backup catcher Lou Marson.
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