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GM on Ryan Howard: “If he’s back by sometime in May, I’ll be happy”

Jan 31, 2012, 1:52 PM EDT

Ryan Howard

A few weeks ago Ruben Amaro Jr. declined to “speculate” about Ryan Howard‘s odds of being in the Opening Day lineup, but yesterday the Phillies general manager made it very clear that no one is expecting a return that soon.

Amaro told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that Howard returning from his torn Achilles’ tendon by Opening Day “is more than a reach” and instead noted that “if he’s back sometime in May, I’ll be happy.”

Ty Wigginton is the obvious in-house replacement for Howard at first base, although manager Charlie Manuel said yesterday that John Mayberry Jr. could also see action there depending on how the Phillies’ outfield looks. And of course Jim Thome is another option, assuming the 41-year-old can handle playing first base on more than an emergency basis.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    So out the first two months….pretty much what everybody expected. Not really concerning. After all, they played the first two months without Chase Utley, who is a vastly superior player relative to position, and still won 102 games.

    • Alex K - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      Chase Utley is just a vastly superior player, in general.

    • sasquash20 - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:49 PM

      Chase Utley isn’t even in the same galaxy as R.Howard. Howard has carried this team in August and September multiple times. Chase (who I love as a ball player) disappears for months at a time. R.Howard is, was, and will continue to be way more important to the Phillies then Chase Utley. I love the hate for a guy who at times carries a team but nobody ever dogs Chase when he is invisible. Unbelievable how blind some of you morons are. There both all time Phillies and I will always love them both for bringing home a WS title.

      • paperlions - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:45 PM

        Ladies and Gentlemen, exhibit A in the “why people have to constantly explain why Ryan Howard isn’t as good as people think is his” museum.

        Ryan Howard has been the 3rd best infielder on his own team since he came into the league. HItting is really nice, but hitting and playing great defense and being an asset on the bases is a lot better….and the guys playing 2B and SS for the Phillies are simply far better at baseball than the guy that can only do one thing (and who no longer does it nearly as well as people act like he does).

  2. randygnyc - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    I’d be surprised if he’s back even in May. Big body. A lot of weight to bear.

    • sasquash20 - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:50 PM

      The guy is a hard worker and I’m sure he is putting the extra effort into his rehab. So I’ll cross my fingers and hope it is a May return.

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