Ryan Howard undergoes successful left knee surgery

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Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki that Ryan Howard had successful surgery Wednesday to correct a tear of the left meniscus in the first baseman’s left knee.

“After (Phillies physician Michael) Ciccotti went in there and went in with the scope, it was a little better picture then we thought,” Amaro said. “I think the player is feeling better about it, we’re feeling better about it. As news goes, this is as good as we get.”

Howard is still expected to miss the next 6-8 weeks.

Darin Ruf and John Mayberry Jr. are going to fill in at first base for the Phillies until late August or early September.

Report: 11 umpires have opted out of the 2020 season

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Jon Heyman reports that 11 MLB umpires have opted out of the 2020 season or have otherwise declined to participate. He says “some are said to have family members who are ill.” The umpires’ identities are not yet known.

Umpires, like players, have the right to opt-out with full pay if they are in a high risk group due to preexisting health conditions. Umpires can, obviously, be older as well, so age factors into it for some as well. Also like players, umpires who are themselves not high risk can opt-out if they have concern for the health of family members, though they will forego paychecks.

Recently, one umpire who is high risk — Joe West — made headlines for not only choosing not to opt-out but for also giving voice to COVID-19 denialism, questioning official statistics about infections and deaths.

The latest on West: