The Phillies have had many injuries this season. Tonight Chase Utley returns to the field. Ryan Howard’s return seems imminent.
When Ryan Howard rolled his ankle in the first inning of the August 1st game between the Phillies and the Marlins some people felt that it would be a crushing blow to the Phillies’ post season aspirations. On Monday when it became apparent a DL stint was needed the mood was gloomy in Philly.
Since Howard left the field on August 1st the Phillies have gone 10-3 and kept pace with the NL East leading Atlanta Braves. The players filling in for Howard have done an excellent job. Ross Gload, Mike Sweeney, Greg Dobbs, and Cody Ransom have all played first base for the Phils during the 13 game stretch. Here are the numbers Howard amassed during his last 13 games before going on the DL and the numbers his replacements have had in his absence.
I’m not trying to minimize the importance of Ryan Howard. What I am trying to say is that anyone who thought two weeks without Howard in the line-up was going to doom the Phillies was wrong.