There were a lot of hopes that Ryan Howard would be able to return to his pre-injury form this season with the Philadelphia Phillies. He has been plagued by injury for a couple of seasons and it clearly affected him until finally shortening the 2012 season for him. Now, back in Spring Training and fully healthy, it appears that Howard might not be returning to the form he showed before. He might be even better.
Sure spring numbers don’t really mean anything but isn’t that mostly said by the guys that have bad numbers? Anyway, for Howard or any player coming back from an injury, the spring season is much more important than it normally is. For instance, he has more to get going in the way of timing. Howard hasn’t played with the same exact strength and stance because of the foot problems. Now he has to get used to the power stance that he can once again use.
Mission: Accomplished. Howard is literally having one of the best springs of his career. If we compare it to last season there is no doubt he is playing better. How about a batting average of .361 for starters? Pretty good I think. The four homers, 12 RBI and six runs scored almost match those of he put up all of last spring.
If I were sitting in the Phillies cheap seats, I’d go buy some Howard gear and get ready to jump on that bandwagon. He looks stronger and leaner than he has ever looked. His swing is powerful and he is ready to go right now. As long as nothing unexpected pops up to stop his progress and momentum, Howard will once again be as feared as he was before and possibly even more-so.