03/19/2013 5:33 PM ET
Halladay feels he's 'going in right direction'
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Roy Halladay is 10 pounds lighter, but he said he feels better.
Halladay lasted just one inning in Sunday's Grapefruit League start against the Orioles at Bright House Field because of a stomach virus. That followed serious struggles in 2 2/3 innings March 12, which he attributed to lethargy because of a more rigorous workout program and throwing two bullpen sessions in-between starts.
It has been an interesting spring for Halladay, who has been trying to prove he can bounce back from a disappointing 2012.
"I feel like I'm going in the right direction," Halladay said before Tuesday's game against the Yankees. "Just bad timing for a setback."
Halladay, whose velocity has been in the 85-88-mph range in his last three starts, said he hopes to throw a bullpen session Wednesday and pitch Saturday against the Orioles in Sarasota. He said he thinks he can get enough work in during his final two Spring Training starts to be ready for the season. He is scheduled to pitch the second game of the season, April 3 in Atlanta.
"From today on, if I continue to get stronger and stronger each day, I'll be fine," Halladay said. "If I can go out and throw 75 pitches my next start … I think 75 is realistic. The time after that, if I get to 90 or maybe a couple over 90, then it's easy to go 105 to 110 or whatever. I haven't been on any teams where the first start of the season they let you go over 100 pitches. If I can get to 90 by the end of spring, I feel like I can throw 100-105."
Halladay has maintained he is otherwise healthy, but has mostly been having problems with his mechanics. He said he could not tell if he improved in that area Sunday, although others told him they saw improvement.
"My [bullpen sessions] have felt really good, and I felt good when I first started throwing in the bullpen," he said. "Throwing today felt good. The arm slot and the stuff we are working on, I think, is there."
Halladay said if he is not strong enough to throw a bullpen session Wednesday, the possibility exists he could be pushed back a day or two at the beginning of the season. In one scenario, right-hander Kyle Kendrick could start the second game of the season and Halladay could start the home opener against the Royals at Citizens Bank Park on April 6.
"I'm sure there are a lot of options, but I think all of it is going to depend on day to day," Halladay said. "If I come in tomorrow and feel weak and don't feel like I can throw a [bullpen session], that's going to change things. But I think day to day is what's most important. The plan for me would be to do what we said, throw a [bullpen session], pitch, then pitch one more time before the end of spring and go into the season. But if it doesn't go exactly that way, I'm sure there are other ways to look at it.
"I feel like it's there. I feel like I've made the strides that I need to make but just really haven't got to test it. That was really kind of the most disappointing thing about it. I told [Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.] that night, as sick as I felt on the mound, I almost feel worse because I didn't get to see the results that I wanted to see. I guess you just have to be patient and let it do its thing. There are things that you can control, and you worry about that. I'm going to continue to worry about what I can control and do as much as I can to be as effective and as good as I can be on Opening Day."
Kendrick's changeup getting good results
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick found himself in a bit of a jam in the fourth inning Tuesday at Bright House Field against the Yankees.
Kendrick had a runner on second with one out and a run already in, but he struck out Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner swinging on a couple of changeups to end the inning. Kendrick's changeup is coming along nicely as he allowed two hits, one unearned run and struck out three in six innings.
"If I can consistently keep it down, I'll get some swings and misses, some early contact with it," Kendrick said about his changeup. "I had a 2-2 count to Youkilis and Hafner. I want to keep that pitch down. It was a good count to throw that in."
Manuel keeping lineup options open
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Charlie Manuel has a few options running through his mind for his regular-season lineup, but he said he hasn't settled on anything yet.
Domonic Brown hit his sixth home run in Grapefruit League play Tuesday against the Yankees at Bright House Field. Brown typically has hit sixth or seventh for the Phillies during the regular season, but could he hit higher? The Phillies don't have anybody cemented to hit behind cleanup hitter Ryan Howard.
"He could hit there," Manuel said about Brown. "We plan on using him the best way we possibly can."
Of course, there are considerations there. If Manuel hits Chase Utley third and Howard fourth, which has been his custom in the past, hitting Brown fifth would line up three left-handed hitters in a row. Manuel said he definitely doesn't want to make things easy on opposing managers, who could just run left-handed relievers at them late in the game.
That also comes into play when he considers hitting Ben Revere high in the order. If he hit Revere second, it also would line up three or more left-handed hitters in a row.
"I've got a good idea," Manuel said about his lineup. "But at the same time, I want to play the guys and see how we look."
If Manuel definitely wanted Revere to hit high in the order, but was concerned about lining up too many left-handed hitters, he could hit Revere first and Jimmy Rollins, who is a switch-hitter, second. Michael Young, who hits right-handed, could hit fifth.
• The Phillies traded Minor League reliever Michael Cisco to the Los Angeles Angels this weekend for no compensation.
This is not an entirely uncommon practice, and not exactly what it seems. In essence, the Phillies did not see a roster spot for Cisco in their Minor League system, so they shipped him to the Angels. If the Angels later have a roster crunch at a particular position and the Phillies have a need there, the Angels could send a player to them.
The Phillies traded Minor League catcher Tuffy Gosewisch to the Blue Jays last year for no compensation.
• The Phillies reassigned right-hander Rodrigo Lopez to Minor League camp Tuesday. He went 0-1 with a 7.00 ERA in four Grapefruit League appearances. He will provide depth at Triple-A in the event the Phillies need a starting pitcher during the season. Lopez has an opt-out clause June 1. He can leave the organization if he is offered a big league contract elsewhere.
• Fans have until 5 p.m. ET Wednesday to vote for three candidates to be inducted onto the Phillies' Wall of Fame this summer. Vote on the Wall of Fame ballot.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.