Video: Ryan Howard launches his ninth home run

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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.

Trea Turner undergoes surgery on right index finger

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Nationals shortstop Trea Turner underwent surgery on his right index finger, MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa reports. Turner suffered a non-displaced fracture when he was hit by a pitch attempting to bunt in early April.

Turner missed six weeks of action and played through the injury for the remainder of the season. He was quite successful, batting .298/.353/.497 with 19 home runs, 57 RBI, 96 runs scored, and 35 stolen bases across 569 plate appearances. Turner’s performance, especially late in the regular season, helped the Nationals claim the first NL Wild Card. They, of course, would go on to win the World Series.

Turner, who is expected to be healed up by the start of spring training, will be entering his second of four years of arbitration eligibility. He will likely get a sizable raise on his $3.725 million 2019 salary.