CLEARWATER, Fla. — Roy Halladay, wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, passed through an empty Phillies clubhouse Monday morning without stopping at his locker. It was shortly before 8:30 a.m., and again this would not be a lengthy day for the pitcher.
Halladay lasted just one inning Sunday because of what the team termed a stomach virus. Through a team spokesman, Halladay said he was still sick and contagious Monday. He was at the complex only to receive medication.
It is a curious spring for Halladay, which has bred boundless conspiracy theories. The truth is impossible to know until Halladay throws again. The Phillies have not yet scheduled his next start, which could come Friday or Saturday.
The team is off Wednesday but will probably have pitchers throw in a minor-league game to stay on schedule. If Halladay's turn comes Friday vs. Atlanta, he too could pitch in a minor-league game because the Phillies start the regular season with the Braves and would not want those hitters to see Halladay less than two weeks before that outing.
They could also bump Halladay to Saturday against Baltimore and still keep him on schedule to pitch in one more Grapefruit League game before starting the second game of the 2013 season on an extra day of rest.
A mere 25 pitches Sunday makes evaluation difficult. One scout said Halladay's velocity was improved at 87 to 88 m.p.h. Nonetheless, it required 25 pitches to record three outs. And Halladay has worsened this spring as his outings go deeper, something he was unable to do Sunday.
Halladay typically works hardest the day after pitching. He could not do that Monday.
Phillies officials were confident Sunday that Halladay can ready himself to start the season on time. Whether it be illness or injury, there are myriad questions two weeks before opening day.