Ryan Howard Taking Batting Practice

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard might be a touch overrated. He's almost certainly paid more than he would be on the open market. He gets MVP votes in seasons where he might not be one of the top four or five first basemen in the league.

But he's still good. His OPS+ in down years is around 125, and when that's ripped from a lineup, it'll hurt. Howard's Achilles injury has hurt the Phillies' offense, as they've made do with Ty Wigginton, Laynce Nix, and Jim Thome. But Ryan Howard coming back soon would help the Phillies and that team OPS+ of 82. And how. So there's encouraging news from the Associated Press:

Phillies 1B Ryan Howard took batting practice for the first time since February at the team's spring-training facility in Clearwater, Fla. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. called it "progress." Howard, the 2006 NL MVP, has been sidelined since having a procedure to remove an infection near his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon.

The Phillies' moribund offense can use him, and he's still targeting late May or early June for his return.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.