The Phillies shopped Ryan Howard all winter and GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. said at one point that they’d be better off without him, but the veteran first baseman continues to show that there’s still some life remaining in his bat. Check out this blast against the Rockies today:
Part of the reason I posted this video was to show the kid who caught the home run ball and his celebratory reaction. You have to smile watching that.
Howard took advantage of Coors Field by going deep in each of the last two days and is now up to nine home runs on the year. All nine of his home runs have come since April 21. Only Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton have hit more in the same timespan. That’s some pretty decent company.
Yan Gomes has been sidelined since April 11 due to an MCL sprain in his right knee, but Indians manager Terry Francona told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer today that he’s on track to be activated from the disabled list for Sunday’s game against the Reds.
Gomes was originally expected to miss 6-8 weeks with the injury, so he’s going to be back at the low end of that timetable. The 27-year-old has three hits in nine at-bats with two walks over four minor league rehab games and is gradually being stretched out to nine innings behind the plate.
Gomes batted .284/.325/.476 between 2013-2014, good enough for a 124 OPS+. Getting him back in the lineup and behind the plate is going to be huge for Cleveland.
More health issues for Shane Victorino, as Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com was told by Red Sox manager John Farrell that the veteran outfielder was scratched from tonight’s lineup against the Rangers due to “general overall soreness” which is “centralized somewhat” in his left calf. That’s a pretty specific description for something so general. At least it isn’t his back or hamstring again. The hope is that he’ll be ready to go soon.
Victorino hasn’t started a game since Sunday against the Mariners, but that’s because he’s only been playing against lefties. He was slated to do that tonight with Wandy Rodriguez on the hill for Texas, but now Daniel Nava will play right field. The wait for Rusney Castillo continues.
Victorino is 8-for-19 (.421) with a homer and a double since returning from the disabled list earlier this month.