Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Phillies' Howard feels better

CLEARWATER — Phillies 1B Ryan Howard arrived to camp before position players had to report. And he has come a long way since last year, when he missed half the season recovering from surgery on his left Achilles tendon.

"My left leg feels phenomenal compared to this time last year," Howard, 33, said Thursday. "When I came back, there was obviously still a limp. I tried to do what I could. Having this offseason to work out again and build up strength in my leg, my Achilles is a nonfactor."

Howard was hurt making the final out in Game 5 of the 2011 National League Division Series against St. Louis. After a few setbacks, he returned July 6. He hit .219 in 71 games but had 14 homers and drove in 56 runs. That's compared to averages of 44 homers and 133 RBIs from 2006-11.

"You're just not 100 percent confident in it. You can't do the things you normally could do," Howard said of last year. "Now it's not even a second thought in my mind."

Third shot: Injuries derailed OF Domonic Brown's chances to make the team the past two springs. Now the ex-Pasco High star says he's healthy. But with CF Ben Revere, RF Delmon Young, OF John Mayberry and OF Laynce Nix almost assured of jobs, Brown likely will battle Darin Ruf for the final outfield spot. "I'm just going to go out, keep having fun and really not worry about anything," Brown, 25, said. "If I get sent down, that'll be that, too. I'll just go down and work hard."

Jays: Romero arrives in different situations

DUNEDIN — LHP Ricky Romero arrived at spring training last year as the Blue Jays' No. 1 starter. Now because of the arrivals of R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle and the emergence of Brandon Morrow, he is No. 5.

And after going 9-14 with a 5.77 ERA in an injury-plagued 2012, he is healthy. In the offseason he receive platelet-rich plasma injections in each knee to alleviate tendinitis and had arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow to clear up scar tissue.

"It feels 100 times better," Romero said of the elbow. "I wasn't able to rotate it at one point. The knees have been a work in progress. I'm getting treatment, doing the small things … to get them ready."

Yankees: Teammates put past behind them

TAMPA — 3B Kevin Youkilis agrees with RHP Joba Chamberlain: Any tension over tight fastballs between the new Yankees teammates is in the past.

"It's something (reporters) keep going on and on about," Youkilis said. "But we're here as a team and ready to play. I hope the only drama this year we create is walkoff home runs and hits. At some time we'll all sit down and talk. But things are all going to be okay. Don't worry."

.Fast Facts

Blue Jays

Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

Tickets: (727) 733-0429,


Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Tickets: (727) 467-4457,


Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive (corner Martin Luther King and Dale Mabry), Tampa

Tickets: (813) 879-2244,

Phillies' Howard feels better 02/14/13 [Last modified: Thursday, February 14, 2013 9:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”
  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    The Rays won because they got two innings of good relief from each of the two pitchers who contributed to them losing Saturday's game, Danny Farquhar (who again struck out Miguel Sano) and Tommy Hunter, who both posted zeroes.