Friday, March 17, 2006

20 Wins Well Within Halladay's Reach

Former Cy Young winner Roy Halladay's signing of a three-year, $40 million contract with the Blue Jays confirms what all discerning observers have known for weeks: Halladay is completely recovered from last year's freak injury and, at 28, is poised to perform among the best pitchers in the AL. Halladay had a 12-4 record with a .241 ERA last year when his season was cut short by a screaming comebacker which broke his leg. The break is a "shaft fracture" rather than an "articulate fracture" and therefore the bone now is actually stronger at the break than it was before the injury. Halladay has about as much chance at relapsing as he does to be struck by lightning. With a new, strong defense behind him, plus B.J. Ryan closing, the Blue Jays should have no trouble gaining significantly on last year's 15-game deficit behind the East leading Yankees. The Blue Jays lost 21 games last year in which they scored five or more runs, games that this year likely will be chalked up in the win column. A 20-victory season is not out of reach for Halladay, nor is 90 or more wins for the team.