Ryan Howard not expected back until after All-Star break

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Ryan Howard is almost ready to play, though it still won’t be for the Phillies anytime soon. According to CSNPhilly.com:

Howard will be in Philadelphia Wednesday for functional testing of his healing Achilles. If he passes, he will begin a rehab assignment with Single-A Lakewood on Thursday.

It’ll be a lengthy rehab assignment, manager Charlie Manuel said:

I talked to him yesterday. He’s been doing real good. He’s looking forward to when he can come back. And more than likely I’d say, probably, from the looks of things it will be right – after the All-Star break. … He’s feeling real good. He told me that when he runs, he’s got a little limp.

Fortunately, Howard does less running than most.

Zach Davies replaces Gio Gonzalez on the Brewers roster

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Major League Baseball just announced that it has approved a roster substitution for the Milwaukee Brewers due to the ankle injury sustained by Gio Gonzalez: right-handed pitcher Zach Davies will take his place. In accordance with league rules, Gonzalez will be ineligible to return if the Brewers make it to the World Series.

That rule is designed to prevent roster gamesmanship such as having a pitcher fake an injury after he’s done being used in an effort to give a team a fresh arm in a short series. A second layer on that is an independent consult with the league, which may approve or disapprove the request based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. In this case, Dr. Gary Green, MLB’s Medical Director, confirmed Gonzalez’s injury after communicating with the Brewers’ evaluating physician. Not that anyone can really suggest that Gonzalez was faking. The dude’s ankle went sideways.

That being said, this is a benefit to the Brewers at least for the short term. Davies did not have a fantastic season, going 2-7 with a 4.77 ERA in 13 starts and failing to make the Brewers’ initial postseason roster, but he is fresh — he hasn’t pitched since September 28 — which could prove very useful for Craig Counsell and the Brewers after last night’s 13-inning game.