Good news has been hard to come by, but it sounds like the Phillies could get a bunch more soon.
-Ruben Amaro spoke to the media today and said there is a chance Ryan Howard could return to the Phillies as early as this weekend; the last series before the All Star break. That would be well in advance of the 20-day maximum stint he could use in the minor leagues as part of his rehab assignment. Amaro spoke to the media in New York and said this about Howard (via Todd Zolecki of mlb.com):
“I think he thinks he’s ready,” Amaro said. “But we’ll see. We’re still talking with the docs and have people evaluating him every day. … If he plays this weekend (for the Phillies), it may not be the worst thing for him to get some time off. You just don’t know how he’ll react and what kind of adrenaline there will be. We’ll take it one day at a time with him.”
Sounds like the big guy is feeling sure of himself. The Phillies clearly won’t make any rash decisions with their expensive/injured first baseman, so they may wait a little longer. If that’s the case, the Phillies hit the road to Denver following the break for three with the Rockies. It’s likely he’ll be ready for that, at worst.
-Roy Halladay will throw a bullpen session on Saturday and then seems primed to head to Florida on a rehab assignment of his own during the All Star break. He could also return to the Phillies on their road trip following the break, which would be a huge addition to a pitching staff that cannot find much consistency.
-Dom Brown could be headed to Florida on a rehab assignment on Friday. He hasn’t played since June 14 due to a sprained knee.
-Laynce Nix is still at least a week from a rehab assignment. Amaro says he has made strides in his recovery from a calf strain.
(h/t: Matt Gelb)