Apr 12, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard (6) during batting practice prior to playing the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
UPDATE - The Phillies have made the move official, optioning infielder Hector Luna to Triple-A to make room for Howard.
Phillies sent Hector Luna to AAA Lehigh Valley to make room for Howard— DKnobler (@DKnobler) July 6, 2012
9:00 AM EST - The Philadelphia Phillies will activate first baseman Ryan Howard from the disabled list today and the slugger is expected to start tonight’s game against the Atlanta Braves, reports Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
Howard likely to start in Philly tomorrow night.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) July 6, 2012
Phillies general manager and skipper Ruben Amaro Jr. and Charlie Manuel spoke with reporters yesterday and hinted that Howard was close to returning. Amaro went as far as saying he believed Howard was ready, but neither set a date on when the first baseman would officially return.
Zolecki later came out with his report, and Howard was the one to confirm the news when he tweeted "Excited to be back in Philly tomorrow."
Excited to be back in Philly tomorrow.— Ryan Howard (@ryanhoward) July 6, 2012
The 32-year-old started the season on the DL as he was recovering from an Achilles injury sustained during the final out of the 2011 NLDS.
Prior to rejoining the Phillies, Howard completed a six-game minor league rehab stint. Over his six games, Howard went 8-17 with one home run, two doubles and nine RBIs.
What are you expecting from Howard this season?