Ryan Howard to have MRI on knee, surgery “remains an option”

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CSN Philly’s John Finger reports that Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard will have an MRI taken on his ailing left knee on Monday. The results will direct the next step the Phillies take with their $125 million slugger, and surgery “remains an option”. Howard went on the 15-day disabled list yesterday.

“We’ll see what happens [Monday] to get a better understanding of what’s going on inside of there and then we’ll address it with either surgery or any other kind of injections,” Howard said. “Right now, it’s too early to tell. Once we find out, we’ll look at it and see what will be the best thing.”

Howard clarified that the injury had nothing to do with his ankle. He ruptured his Achilles tendon making the final out of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals and missed the first 84 games of the 2012 season. His mobility and agility were severely limited last year, but seemed to get better after an off-season of rest.

Howard leaves the Phillies having posted a .784 OPS, spurred in part to a .930 OPS in 21 games dating back to June 11. In his absence, the Phillies may use some combination of Michael Young and Darin Ruf at first base.

Yankees acquire A.J. Cole from the Nats

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The New York Yankees have acquired reliever A.J. Cole from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations.

Cole was supposed to be the Nats’ fifth starter this year but that didn’t work out too well. He pitched in four games for the Nats, starting two, to the tune of a 13.06 ERA, having given up six home runs in 10.1 innings. That’s . . . something.

Don’t get too used to Cole on the New York roster, as this seems like one of those “give us an arm” for a couple of days deals, after which Cole will be DFA’d and will either accept an assignment to Scranton or be cut loose. Such is life at the fringes for a guy who is out of minor league options.