Saturday, August 21, 2010

All hands on deck: Ryan Howard activated

The Phillies are getting healthy at just the right time. Ryan Howard, who has been out since August 1st with an ankle injury, was activated from the disabled list. The return of the Big Piece means the Phillies can finally put their entire Opening Day lineup back on the field for the first time since late May.

The Phillies placed Ross Gload on the DL with a groin strain to make room for Howard. While most figured Domonic Brown would be sent down, the injury to Gload likely means that Brown is here to stay for the rest of the season. Perhaps the Phillies will start rotating in the rookie and getting him a few more at bats. The return of Howard also pushes Mike Sweeney into a bench role where he can be a solid right-handed pinch hitter.

With all hands on deck, the Phillies are now poised to make a run on the Braves, who still remain 2.5 games ahead. Expect some big fireworks from a lineup that no longer has to deal with any fill-in players.

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