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Ryan Howard cleared for baseball activities, heading to Phillies’ spring training complex

Apr 28, 2012, 9:05 PM EDT

ryan howard reuters Reuters

Hey, it’s positive Ryan Howard health news!

According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, the 32-year-old first baseman has been cleared for baseball activities and will report to the Phillies’ spring training complex in Clearwater, Florida on Monday morning to begin daily workouts.

He will begin by fielding ground balls and playing catch before progressing to hitting and base-running.

Howard underwent surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon in October, then had a follow-up procedure in February to clear out an infection that had formed around his surgical wound.

Salisbury calls June a “safe, albeit broad, outside estimate” for the slugger’s return to major league action.

  1. eaglesfan723 - Apr 29, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Well its about time! I won’t hold my breath though until he’s in the starting lineup.

    • sasquash20 - Apr 29, 2012 at 3:15 AM

      Its a injury that normally takes a year to return from. All the Howard haters better show some respect because he makes the Phillies line up go. Look at last years start to the season compared to this year. Utley isn’t as important as Howard, Howard makes everything fall into place. That being said who knows if he will be the Howard we are used to seeing when he comes back. He might not be back 100 percent until next season.

      • paperlions - Apr 29, 2012 at 11:13 AM

        There are plenty of factors that distinguish last year’s Philly start and this years.

        OPS through 21 games in 2011, 1012)
        Polanco: .917, .560
        Rollins: .649, .509
        Victorino: .834, .702

        Howard: .831 in 2011
        All Philly 1B in 2012: .822

        The guys playing 1st for Philly this year have done pretty much exactly what Howard did last year.

        The entire team has a .293 OBP this year, last April they were getting on at a .328 clip…that is the biggest difference. The guys at the top of the lineup started off great last year.

        FWIW, there is no evidence whatsoever that hitters in a lineup make hitters around them better. None.

        This is a team-wide problem, not just missing one guy.

      • schmedley69 - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:06 PM

        There is no doubt that they miss him big time. Werth always struggled when he took over the cleanup role when Howard was out, just has Pence has this year. Some guys are good complimentary players but can’t handle being the centerpiece of the lineup. The SABRmetricans love to pick Howard apart, but there is no doubt in my mind that he has been a huge part of the Phillies success during the 5-year run. He has his flaws, but he truly is the “Big Piece” in the Phillies lineup as Charlie likes to call him. They aren’t going anywhere this year unless he comes back and contributes.

      • sasquash20 - Apr 30, 2012 at 12:28 AM

        Rollins isn’t a 3 hole hitter, and I believe if Howard were in the line up he wouldn’t be batting 3. He presses too hard at the 3 hole instead of taking what is given to him. Polanco may be done so I can’t argue that. Pence is a 3 or 5 hole hitter, not a clean up hitter. Everyone just about in this line up is hitting out of order because they don’t have a natural clean up hitter.You can have your stats all you want but when Howard is in that line up the whole line up becomes better. PaperLions your just a hater who is narrow minded and bogged down down by some BS stats to realize this.

  2. xmatt0926x - Apr 29, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    I’m not going to argue that Howard makes Hitters around him better. As a Phillies fan of course I always hope he does well but I’m not blind to his many flaws. I guess my argument is against the chorus line on this site where it seems to have become fact somehow that it’s just not possible that a great hitter can make hitters around them better. I don’t have cut and paste stats from every baseball stat site out there. There may be no “evidence” but it just seems to make sense that a guy hitting in front of a guy like Matt Kemp or Barry Bonds when he was at the top of his game would benefit. These may be extreme examples using elite hitters but to just flatly say that no batters in a lineup can benefit from a good hitter is just as extreme.

    • henryd3rd - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:04 PM

      Slow your roll Professor this is a baseball blog not at dissertation for your doctoral. Its a simple game. To paraphrase Mariano Duncan, “I see the ball I hit the ball”.

    • phillyphreak - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:43 PM

      As paperlions said above, there’s no proof for protection. Phillies fans were excited when Pence came over last season because now Howard would “see better pitches.” What happened? He saw essentially the same pitch repertoire as before Pence. (I think Matt Gelb and Crashburn Alley penned these articles for the references but I can’t remember 100%). This is just one example….

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