Ryan Howard needs surgery for ruptured Achilles’ tendon

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From Danny Knobler of CBS Sports comes word that Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard indeed ruptured his Achilles’ tendon on the final play of Friday’s NLDS Game 5 loss to the Cardinals.

The 31-year-old slugger will undergo surgery within the next week or two and is unlikely to recover in time to participate in the first half of the 2012 regular season. He might even miss the entire year.

The news arrives with awful timing for the Phillies, who had their dreams of a World Series title dashed this week by the Wild Card-winning Redbirds.

Howard, a .275/.368/.560 career hitter, is owed a whopping $125 million over the next five seasons.

The Phillies also announced Saturday that Cole Hamels needs minor surgery on his left elbow.

Nelson Cruz hits 400th career home run

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Twins DH Nelson Cruz hit his 400th career home run, a solo home run in the fourth inning of Sunday’s game against the Royals. The blast padded the Twins’ lead to 8-6, and was also No. 40 on the season for Cruz.

Cruz, 39, is the 57th member of the 400-homer club. He was previously tied with Andres Galarraga and Al Kaline at 399. Cruz has hit 163 of his homers with the Mariners, 157 with the Rangers, and 40 each with the Orioles and Twins.

Cruz entered Sunday batting .300/.383/.624 with 104 RBI in 500 plate appearances. Pretty good production for the Twins from a slugger on a one-year, $14.3 million contract. The Twins hold a $12 million club option for 2020 as well.