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Doc could be making final home start

Doc could be making final home start

TORONTO -- No one can say for certain that Roy Halladay will be back with the Blue Jays in 2010. There is a good chance that he will return as Toronto's ace, but the possibility still exists that the club will listen to trade offers for the pitcher over the offseason.

With that in mind, when Halladay takes the hill at Rogers Centre against the Mariners on Friday night, it could be his last time pitching for the Blue Jays in Toronto.

"I just hope that it's not," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "If it is, Doc's been great in this organization. He's done everything he could here. If he moves on, we certainly hope he moves on out of this division and out of this league somewhere, so we don't have to face him.

"It's going to be a special night either way, because it's the last time they'll see him pitch this year -- whether they get a chance to see him next year or not. I'm not sure. You just don't know."

In July, the Jays entertained offers for Halladay, but ultimately decided to keep the veteran pitcher in the fold after none of the proposed packages met their demands. The month-long ordeal took a toll on the pitcher, who started for the American League in the All-Star Game, but that is not what Gaston believes is the reason behind Halladay's recent record.

Halladay opened the season 10-1 with a 2.53 ERA before being shelved with a right groin injury in June. Since returning, Halladay has five victories in 16 starts, dating back to June 29. Gaston believes having the injury disrupt Halladay's season could be one reason the pitcher has struggled to find the win column.

It hasn't helped that the Blue Jays' offense has only scored 22 combined runs over Halladay's 10 losses this season.

"Everybody expects Doc to be perfect all the time," Gaston said. "When he's not, we always look at him and see if there's something wrong with him. I just believe that he didn't locate as well as he'd like to when he came back from that groin injury. On the other hand, you look at it, too, we put up runs for some of the other guys. We just don't get runs for him for some reason."

The Jays will try to provide sufficient run support on Friday, when fans head to the ballpark unsure of Halladay's status for 2010.

Pitching matchup
TOR: RHP Roy Halladay (15-10, 3.01 ERA)
Halladay has gone just 4-7 with a 3.44 ERA over his last 12 outings for the Jays.

SEA: RHP Doug Fister (2-3, 4.37 ERA)
Fister is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three road outings this season for the Mariners.

Bird feed
Right-hander Dustin McGowan, who underwent surgery on his throwing shoulder last season and injured his left knee earlier this year, has resumed throwing, according to Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi. McGowan has worked up to 110-115 feet when playing catch and could be on a mound some time next week. "He feels really good," Ricciardi said. "There's another kid that you're just rooting for him, because he's had so much bad luck." ... Ricciardi said that he believes left-hander Scott Downs and right-hander Jason Frasor could split the closer duties in 2010. ... If the Jays do not re-sign shortstop Marco Scutaro, who will be a Type A free agent this winter, Gaston feels the team will need to look for a leadoff hitter over the offseason. "We're going to have to figure out somebody to leadoff for next year if he doesn't come back," Gaston said. "Right now, I don't see anybody here if he's not back." ... Blue Jays Minor League pitchers Robert Ray, Brad Mills and Reidier Gonzalez will take part in the Arizona Fall League. ... Center fielder Vernon Wells is one home run shy of matching George Bell's club record for homers by a Jays outfielder with 188.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• SNET

On radio
• FAN 590

Up next
• Saturday: Blue Jays (David Purcey, 1-2, 5.31) vs. Mariners (Ian Snell, 7-10, 5.03), 1:07 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Blue Jays (Brian Tallet, 7-9, 5.39) vs. Mariners (Ryan Rowland-Smith, 4-3, 3.70), 1:07 p.m. ET
• Monday: Blue Jays (Scott Richmond, 7-10, 5.32) at Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 16-6, 3.78), 7:10 p.m. ET

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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