Roy Halladay is in camp with the Phillies as a special guest instructor this week and tells Ryan Lawrence of PhillyVoice.com that he’s enjoying his time working with the team’s younger pitchers. Halladay, who also coaches his son’s 12-U team and his other son’s varsity high school team, seems to enjoy passing his knowledge on to younger arms but tells Lawrence that he’s not yet sure if this current position will lead to a more permanent role with the Phillies organization. “I think that’s something we’re still talking about,” the former Cy Young winner tells Lawrence. “There are all kinds of options. … I’m going to enjoy this first week here, being a guest coach, and see where things go. We’ll continue talking, but, you know, I think it’s always trying to find a good fit, too.” Young Philadelphia righty Jake Thompson lauded Halladay’s baseball acumen and explained to Lawrence that he and the team’s other young arms relish the opportunity to learn from one of the best arms of the past generation.
Here’s more from the NL East…
- The Phillies may have hoped that Thompson (wrist) and fellow righty Zach Eflin (knee) were a bit further along in their injury rehab timelines by this point, but at least the club is seeing progress, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki writes. Both are throwing live BP sessions, with the possibility of reaching game readiness by next week. Eflin says he’s feeling stronger than ever as he continues working back from surgery to both knees, while Thompson says he’s healthy but is “still knocking off a little rust.” It remains to be seen whether either will be ready to open the season on time, but surely both are destined for Triple-A regardless.
- Matt Harvey’s spring debut for the Mets didn’t go as hoped, as Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News writes. There’s little reason to get too caught up in the uninspiring results, of course, particularly since Harvey says he was dealing with a stiff neck. (That could be its own source of concern, though it sounds as if it’s just a low-level problem and Harvey expects to make his next start.) The bigger concern, perhaps, is that Harvey was limited to working in the low-90s with his fastball. That, too, can be chalked up to the neck along with the fact that Harvey is still dialing in his mechanics after a long layoff. Club sources tell Ackert they don’t want the prized righty to come out of the gates too quickly anyway.
- Nationals ace Max Scherzer felt good in a live BP session today, as Pete Kerzel of MASNsports.com reports. The veteran righty is still using a three-fingered fastball grip to protect his injured finger, but that doesn’t seem to be slowing him down. Scherzer worked up to 44 pitches in the session, so it seems as if he could be ready soon for a Grapefruit League appearance.
- Another Nationals hurler, lefty Nick Lee, is looking at a much lengthier absence. As Kerzel tweets, the 26-year-old has been diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture in his left arm. Lee was hoping to spend the spring working to find the control that long has eluded him. Last year, he worked to a 4.32 ERA over fifty Double-A frames, striking out 9.9 and walking 7.6 batters per nine. The Nats obviously like his arm, as he had been added to the 40-man before losing his spot last summer.