Ryan Howard takes batting practice

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Ryan Howard took batting practice yesterday, the first time he’s done so since being cleared for baseball activities at the end of April.  Ruben Amaro was pleased, calling it “progress.”

The next step will be a minor league rehab assignment, though there’s no timetable for that.  The thinking is still that he’ll return to the bigs in June. Though it is worth noting, nothing has been on schedule in his rehab so far.

The Phillies signed Danny Espinosa to a minor league deal

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Scott Lauber of the Philly Inquirer reports that the Phillies have agreed to terms with infielder Danny Espinosa. He’ll report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

This will be Espinosa’s fourth organization this year, as he has spent time under contract with the Yankees, Blue Jays and Dodgers in 2018, being released by all three teams after a few weeks. He last appeared in the big leagues in 2017, hitting a mere .173/.245/.278 in 93 games for the Angels, Mariners and Rays. He hit 20 homers a couple of times way back in the day, though, and I guess that — and the humility to accept minor league assignments — will earn you shots if you’re a good guy and you’re in decent shape.