NEW YORK - When the news broke Tuesday that Phillies righthander Roy Halladay is expected to miss six to eight weeks with a shoulder injury, one National League scout who has seen him pitch in spring training and the regular season was not surprised.
Halladay was placed on the disabled list retroactive to Monday with a strain of the latissimus dorsi in his right shoulder and back.
Halladay received a second opinion Wednesday after a visit with David Altchek, the New York Mets' team doctor. Those results have not been made public.
"I was concerned about him when I saw him in spring training because his arm angle was lower," said the scout, who requested anonymity. "I watched him the previous three springs throwing 90 to 94 [miles per hour] with late, nasty stuff, and this year I watched him having trouble getting through the third inning."
The scout didn't need long this spring to see some alarming signs.
"What I saw was 20 flat cutters and sinkers in his first two starts," he said.
That wasn't what the scout was accustomed to seeing from Halladay, even in spring training.
"Before, his sinker was 90 to 93 and down through the strike zone, and this year it has stayed flat," he said. "His cutter used to be [cutting] late, but this year it was early and hitters had a chance to get to it."
Halladay has thrown 220 or more innings in each of the last six seasons. According to the scout, the 35-year-old pitcher has been attempting to make adjustments this year.
"I think he's trying to reinvent himself, but apparently he isn't healthy enough to do it," he said.
Can he reinvent himself?
"It depends on the severity of the injury," the scout said.
Halladay will shut down for at least three weeks.
"You root for a guy like Halladay because of what he has given the game and how hard he works," the scout said.
As for second baseman Chase Utley, the scout has more concerns. Utley, still recovering from chronically injured knees, is with the Phillies and has taken batting practice and also worked in the field.
There is no timetable for his return.
"What he showed last year was that he was having trouble engaging his lower half at all," the scout said about Utley's batting style. "He is still going to get hits, but he has to show he can drive the ball."