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Phillies activate Ryan Howard from DL for season debut

Jul 6, 2012, 2:42 PM EDT

Ryan Howard

As expected the Phillies have activated Ryan Howard from the disabled list and the former MVP will make his season debut tonight against the Braves.

Hector Luna was optioned to Triple-A to make room on the roster for Howard, who went 10-for-20 (.500) with a homer and two doubles in seven minor-league games while rehabbing his torn Achilles’ tendon.

Howard’s return comes just seven games after Chase Utley made his season debut, so the Phillies’ lineup is suddenly pretty healthy and actually managed to be decent with the sixth-most runs in the league even without Utley and Howard for the first three months.

Philadelphia’s fill-in first basemen hit .258 with 12 homers and a .733 OPS in Howard’s absence to rank 18th among MLB teams. Last season Howard hit .253 with 33 homers and an .835 OPS in 152 games, driving in 100-plus runs for the sixth straight season but posting the worst OPS of his career and failing to top a .500 slugging percentage for the first time at age 31.

  1. mrfloydpink - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    He’s had a WAR of zero long enough. Time for him to get to work and to push that number down into negative territory.

  2. nategearhart - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Since that contract kicked in, his strikeouts have been WAY down. Take that, haters!

  3. redguy12588 - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    I’m expecting big things from him in the second half, he almost made the all star team.

    • chadjones27 - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:12 PM

      And Ruiz almost didn’t. Go figure.

  4. paperlions - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Two things:

    1) Now I have to watch the Philly game tonight just to see how Howard and Utley fare.

    2) Hector Luna is still playing baseball? Who knew? Seems like it was 15 yrs ago that he was a Cardinal call-up, guess it wasn’t as long ago as all that.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 6, 2012 at 4:11 PM

      Utley has been swinging the bat well since his return. Last year he really struggled initially and never really found any type of groove. This season, his timing seems to be dead on. Sample size be damned, he really seems to be like the Chase Utley we all remember….except for the frequent days off. I expect Howard to be Howard. He is going to play so as shit but that isn’t much of a change from previous years. I think he will really help the line-up out. I mean, Wigginton did what one would expect from him….but the upgrade of the returning Howard is massive. Furthermore, Luna played reasonable for the Phillies. Hit a home run or so…even played left field for a game.

      • paperlions - Jul 6, 2012 at 4:31 PM

        I watched some of last night’s game, saw the play Utley made on a soft liner to shallow center, he seemed to be moving well.

      • greymares - Jul 6, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        paperlions that was Fontenot, but Utley is moving pretty good

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 6, 2012 at 5:04 PM

        Fontenot has some ups. See that play he made at third a week ago?

      • paperlions - Jul 6, 2012 at 5:37 PM

        Dang, that’s what I get for speed channel surfing, too many games, too little time.

        well, yeah, Fontenot’s knees seem to be in great shape :-P

    • Eberwizzle - Jul 6, 2012 at 5:40 PM

      you forgot #3

      3) Stop attempting to be funny

  5. stan97 - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Way to late to help this years team.

  6. jlovenotjlo - Jul 6, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    I believe this article came fresh off the presses from the “Too-little-too-late” newsroom

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