Toronto Blue Jays: Braden Halladay has memorable performance

TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 4: Former player Roy Halladay
TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 4: Former player Roy Halladay /

The Toronto Blue Jays saw a familiar name pitching against them, as Braden Halladay would make his debut for Canada throwing a perfect inning.

It is tough to imagine the emotions going through Braden Halladay head as he took the mound in the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays. However, much like his father Roy Halladay did for 12 seasons in Toronto, the 17-year-old ignored it all and put together a clean inning.

One of the batters he faced was a top prospect in Bo Bichette, and with a 1-2 count, Halladay got Bichette to ground out ending the inning then walking off to a round of applause from the crowd and both dugouts.

This was no ordinary spring training game because of all the attention the being paid to the young pitcher. Usually, these games between Canada’s Jr. team and the Blue Jays provide these young players with a glimpse into what life in the major leagues looks like and to showcase the country’s upcoming talent.

Safe to say many were more interested in seeing what the son of the two-time CY Young winner would do with the spotlight on him.

As Sportsnet‘s Ben Nicholson-Smith wrote in his post game article, the young pitcher does not throw with high velocity like his father did at the same age.

"“You can certainly see a semblance of his dad in terms of the future,” Greg Hamilton, Baseball Canada’s director of national teams. to Nicholson-Smith “Obviously that’s a standard that we’re not going to say he’s going to replicate because that’s an incredible standard for anybody to try to replicate but his arm works, he’s got some size and he’s still a young man growing into his frame. He’s got a chance to be a pretty decent pitcher.”"

No one expects Braden to replicate the career that his father had. There are not many major leaguers who will be able to do that. While he does not have the same skillset as his father, what sets him apart though are the lessons he learned along the way.

"“Now you’ve got to prove it,” Braden told the media on what his father might have said to him before the game. “Obviously he’d be very excited about the opportunity but he’d still be drilling me as if it were a summer travel ball game or a high school game. Prepare the right way, don’t throw 80 mile an hour pitches right over the plate, things like that.”"

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Sometimes those lessons can become overbearing but as Nicholson-Smith wrote, Halladay made it a point to let his son decide what path he wanted to follow.

Playing for Canada was a big decision which was well within his right given that he was born in Toronto. The next as John Lott writes was committing to play at Penn State which is still a couple of years away since he is only in Grade 11.

Now he is eligible to be drafted in 2019 and many will wonder if the Blue Jays will come calling. If that were to happen he would be another son of a major leaguer to be in the team’s system and it would certainly make Marcus Stroman happy.

Hopefully, this is not the last time we see the Halladay name on a pitching mound, and maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the son to throw out the first pitch at his father’s jersey retirement ceremony.

It should help that Halladay is taking all his father’s words to heart rather than let it overwhelm him which would be understandable for someone who loses a parent at a young age. It just goes to show that the maturity and mentality Braden possesses mirrors what Roy showed in every start he made.

Next: Battle of left-handed pitchers for final bullpen spot

What did you make of Braden’s performance? Would it be more of a pipe dream to expect him to be with the Blue Jays one day? Let us know in the comments below.