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Ryan Howard ditches protective boot, cleared for workouts

Mar 22, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

ryan howard ap AP

Ryan Howard took a big step in his recovery from a torn Achilles’ tendon today, as doctors cleared him to stop wearing a protective boot and start working out.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Howard’s first post-boot workout involved fielding ground balls at first base while sitting on a stool, so he’s obviously still nowhere near being game ready at this point.

Howard’s timetable was pushed back because of an infection months after the surgery, leading to speculation that he’ll miss all of April and most of May at the very least. Jimmy Rollins even expressed some doubt about the slugging first baseman playing at all this season, but barring more setbacks June seems like a reasonable target date.

  1. Joe - Mar 22, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    He’s actually got more range with the stool.

    • sasquash20 - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:32 PM

      He isn’t a bad fielder, he isn’t a good fielder either. He actually has solid range, and is a solid fielder. He has worked hard to be a better fielder and if you have watched his career as much as I have you would know that. Fact is he was getting to balls the last few years that he couldn’t get to before. I’m sure this injury won’t help.

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2012 at 3:23 PM

        I’d love to see any evidence of this whatsoever. Both fielding metrics say he went from about average to well below average the last 2 years. Working hard at something is nice, but that does not guarantee you will improve at it. Every major and minor league ball player works to improve their hitting. Every aging players continues to work on his hitting and every one of them declines despite the effort.

        Ryan Howard has never been a good defender; the last 2 years, he was a bad defender.

      • ame123 - Mar 22, 2012 at 3:30 PM

        BR has him as a plus defender last season, so not sure what metrics you’re using.

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        UZR150 = -11.8, -4.5 (2010, 2011)

        DRS = -12, -11

        BR’s defensive metric is crap. Last year it had Carlos Lee (one of the worst fielders around) as a 2.1 WAR defender. It gave Brandon Phillips the same defensive value as Howard (0.1). I have no idea what it measures, but it is most certainly not defense.

  2. Jonny 5 - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    DAS BOOT!

    • The Baseball Idiot - Mar 22, 2012 at 1:12 PM

      Are you saying his shoes are the size of a boat, or do you just have Jurgen Prochnow crush?

      • Jonny 5 - Mar 22, 2012 at 2:34 PM

        No, He called my Gam gam’s a Whore!!

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