Howard Activated From DL – Phillies Nation

Howard Activated From DL


The Big Piece is back.

Following last night’s suggestion from Ruben Amaro that he could be in the lineup tonight, the Phillies made good on their word when they activated Ryan Howard from the disabled list today. Hector Luna has been sent to Lehigh Valley to make room on the 25-man roster.

Howard, who was recovering from the torn Achilles he suffered during game 5 of last year’s NLDS, had been rehabbing at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but now he’ll be batting cleanup for the Phillies.

The move comes on the heels of what was undoubtedly the Phillies’ most painful loss of the season–a 6-5 walk-off loss to the Mets last night that pushed the team ten games below .500, 13 games back of the first-place Nationals and 8.5 back of the wild card.

During his brief rehab, which began just over a week ago on June 28, Howard went 10-for-20 (.500) with a 1.327 OPS, one home run and ten RBI between Single-A Lakewood and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The results have been positive for Howard, but the sample size is limited (26 total PA), and he can hardly be expected to keep putting up those types of numbers on the Major League level.

The activation of Howard has “panic” written all over it. With their season on life support, it has the feel of a last ditch effort by the team to claw their way back into contention before a playoff spot is completely out of sight.

The wisdom of this move will undoubtedly be questioned should Howard suffer a set back. You’d hate to see him lose more time, or jeopardize a long-term recovery, because of a knee-jerk decision to get him back playing in hopes of some short-term success that, in the end, probably won’t help save the season anyway.

Still, seeing Howard back in a Phillies lineup will be one of the few positives this team has had lately. He lengthens the lineup, and, even at 75%, will be an improvement over who the team currently has manning first base.

Grab a bucket, Ryan. You’re getting dropped onto a sinking ship, and this team needs all the bailers it can find.

Click to comment


  1. Andrew From Waldorf

    July 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    He is in the starting line up.

    While I believe he is not a top 100 player in the Majors.
    He may be a top 50 power hitter.
    36th in MLB in Sluggin last year.

    But his everything else ( fielding , base running, pitch selection) makes him not a top 100 player.

    All hail King Ryan. I wish I was like so many who seem to have been waiting and excited for this. But I am not.
    At least at this point the Titanic has taken on so much water he probably cant do any harm. They are in last place without him. They can be in last with him hitting 4th.

    If the team was in first Id be upset today. But then again if they were in first hed probably get 2 more weeks in the minors.

  2. Andrew From Waldorf

    July 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    To be positive.
    Utley seems to be rejuvinated. And better than I thought hed be.

    Now how long will the legs hold up? Who knows.

  3. Psujoe

    July 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    The brotherly glove quotes a scout saying Phil’s could get the following for Hamels:

    Back on May 30, when the Rangers were reportedly finalizing their deal with Roy Oswalt, Newberg opined on what it might take to bring Hamels to Texas. He echoed those sentiments via e-mail, suggesting that a deal could potentially get struck if the Rangers sent Olt, LHP Martin Perez, RHP Cody Buckel, LHP Victor Payano and SS Hanser Alberto.

    Do it and the resign him on a 7 year deal.

    • George

      July 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm

      I read that article too, and felt it was optimistic to the point of being delusional. Hoping to re-sign Hamels after he’s played for another team is a risky strategy, for one thing. For another, Texas isn’t going to give up that many players/prospects for a rental with no free agent compensation.

    • Jeff Dowder

      July 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      Most GMs think Matt Garza will bring back more in a deadline deal than Hamels and Greinke will, and nobody thinks Hamels will bring back multiple prospects.

      • schmenkman

        July 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm

        2-months vs. 8-months will do it I suppose.

  4. Dave P

    July 6, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Time to dream up tonight’s line up…



  5. Dave P

    July 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Wait, already posted. 😛


  6. George

    July 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Not having read the actual doctor’s report on Howard, I wouldn’t be making claims that reinstating him ‘has “panic” written all over it.’ He’s so far done fine in rehab games, so there’s no real reason to believe he’s not healthy enough to play. I also don’t think anyone in management is stupid enough to run risks with a $20 million player.

    He’ll also probably get plenty of rest, like Utley has been getting.

    • Jeff Dowder

      July 6, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      They already took a huge risk with him last fall. The cortisone shot that Howard received last September was a very risky decision, as they’ve often been linked to rupturing the Achilles tendon.

      “But while such injections remain a widely accepted treatment for elbow and shoulder injuries, those administered anywhere near the Achilles tendon are far less common, far more problematic.

      Ample medical evidence suggests cortisone can damage surrounding tissue, fray the Achilles, even trigger a rupture. According to one recent survey of orthopedic physicians – many of whom unhesitatingly prescribe cortisone for tennis elbow or rotator-cuff problems – two-thirds would not use it to treat an Achilles injury.

      Did cortisone contribute to or hasten Howard’s tear? Would it have been wiser in the long run for him to forgo the shot, even if it meant missing the postseason? Was the decision his alone? Did the Phillies recommend and endorse the treatment? If so, why would the team take such a risk with a franchise player to whom it owes $125 million?

      “There wouldn’t be any way that you would back me into the corner on anybody [with an Achilles problem] to go ahead and inject them,” said Dr. Michael Schafer, an orthopedic consultant to the Chicago Cubs and chairman of the orthopedic surgery department at Northwestern University Hospital. “I’ve been in practice since 1974 and been involved in sports all my life. When it comes to the risk of an Achilles tendon tear, I’m concerned about cortisone.”

    • schmenkman

      July 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      Yeah, if the “safe” alternative is to have him keep playing in AAA, I guess I don’t see the big difference.

  7. chuck schreiber

    July 6, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I’m getting my request in for World Series tics. How about you Andrew? You koolaid drinkers need to be told again. ITS OVER!! Make moves for the future season Rube.

  8. Bruce

    July 6, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I agreed with the writer of this column, Ryan Dinger. The sudden activation of Howard has that feel of desperation on the management’s part. For Howard’s safety, I hope it’s not a premature move that would risk Howard’s health. That’s why he had to go through a long process of physical training to strengthen his body and legs and then the rehab games that are needed for reps and timing on fielding and hitting. Did he have enough time for that. Only Howard has that answer and will soon find out for ourselves.

    Howard’s absence in the first half of the season played a hugh part in the team’s downfall to the cellar. They badly missed his big bat in the number 4 hole in the line-up. We are talking about his power numbers of 33 HRs and 116 RBIs of last season. A production that the Phillies sorely missed.

    Anyway, welcome back Ryan Howard!

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