Roy Halladay's session draws a crowd

CLEARWATER, Fla. -– He stepped onto the mound at 8:30 on a blustery spring-training morning. Apparently, it was a pretty big deal.

Any time Roy Halladay does anything in Philadelphia Phillies camp this spring, after an injury-plagued season that leaves his future (and present) in doubt, people will be paying attention. But it will be tough to match the throng he drew for this session.

His general manager (Ruben Amaro Jr.) was there, peering at his ace intently from several angles. So were eight members of the major-league and minor-league coaching staff, led by pitching coach Rich Dubee and minor-league pitching coordinator Gorman Heimueller.

That’s 18 eyeballs all trained on one bullpen session, on the first official morning of spring training. The Elias Sports Bureau can’t tell us if that’s a record. But it’s definitely a sign of how important Roy Halladay is to the 2013 Phillies.