NEW YORK -- Roy Halladay pitches for the Phillies on Saturday, and should make two more starts after that.
It has been a season full of frustrations for him. He spent May 28 to July 17 on the disabled list because of a strained right latissimus dorsi. He is 10-7 with a 4.03 ERA overall, and has a 4.70 ERA in his last six starts.
Halladay has not finished a season with an ERA higher than 4.00 since 2004, when he had a 4.20 ERA.
Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee expects a much improved Halladay in 2013.
"The offseason will be good for him," he said. "He's got to change some things up. He's done things for 12 years pretty much the same. At this stage of his career, his age and stuff, I think he's learned to make some adjustments, so I think he'll change his program a little bit. We'll see. I think he's going to be fine. ... When you're as successful as he is for 12 years, I wouldn't change anything, either. But now with some age and lack of strength in certain areas like his shoulder and stuff, his program has to change at some point."
Dubee said weeks ago that Halladay developed some bad habits with his mechanics early this season, when he tried pitching through his injury. Dubee said Halladay is still trying to fine-tune his mechanics, but said after the offseason and Spring Training, he should be back on track.
"I'm very confident. Why wouldn't you be?" Dubee said. "He's had some ups and downs, but he's battled through a lot of stuff."
Well, playing devil's advocate, Halladay will turn 36 next May and has thrown 2,344 1/3 innings since the beginning of the 2002 season, which ranks third in baseball behind Mark Buehrle and CC Sabathia. He could be wearing down.
"You can play anything you want," Dubee said. "I'll play with Roy Halladay pitching."
Schierholtz's role not yet pinned down by Phillies
NEW YORK -- The Phillies planned to play Nate Schierholtz fairly regularly when they acquired him from San Francisco on July 31.
But that plan was scrapped last month, when Schierholtz missed a couple weeks in August because of a broken right big toe. He has started just three games since returning from the disabled list Sept. 1, and has hit .159 (3-for-19) with one double and two RBIs in limited action.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said when Schierholtz broke his toe, Juan Pierre got an opportunity to play. And because the team won, Manuel found it difficult to reinsert Schierholtz into the lineup. Then figure the Phillies expect Domonic Brown to be an everyday player next season and streaky John Mayberry Jr. finally got into a groove, and Schierholtz has been limited to pinch-hitting and playing as a late-inning defensive replacement.
Manuel, however, said he still can see Schierholtz in his outfield rotation in 2013.
"He shows he can hit some," Manuel said of Schierholtz. "How much? He's never really been given a chance. I think with our outfield, more than likely we're going to do some things and it's going to affect some of the outfielders we have."
The Phillies are expected to pursue an everyday outfielder, possibly via free agency (i.e., B.J. Upton or Michael Bourn). If Brown takes one of the two corner outfield spots, that would leave Mayberry, Schierholtz and Nix as the remaining outfielders on the roster. Of course, that does not include the possibility the Phillies re-sign Pierre, who will be a free agent.
If that happens, somebody else from that group (Schierholtz, Mayberry or Nix) will have to go, unless the Phillies plan to carry six outfielders on the roster.
Manuel said he has not talked much about how the Phillies rotation will set up following Monday's day off. The Phillies could skip rookie right-hander Tyler Cloyd once in the final nine games, which would give Cliff Lee an additional start. But that might depend upon where the Phillies are in the National League Wild Card race. But do not expect the Phillies to move to a four-man rotation, unless something unforeseen happens.
"We've definitely got some pitchers we've got to watch," Manuel said.
Manuel said catcher Carlos Ruiz's left foot, which had him on the disabled list Aug. 3-Sept. 7, has responded well, but he is not ready to play four, five games in a row. That will not happen until next season. Manuel also said catcher Erik Kratz could alleviate some of Ruiz's workload next season, if Kratz is the team's backup catcher.
"Kratz is one of those guys, if Chooch gets hurt, he can catch a month or two for you," Manuel said.
Kratz, however, has cooled considerably after a hot start. He entered Thursday's series finale against the Mets hitting .180 (11-for-61) with two doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs in 18 games since Aug. 23.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.