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)

Bootless Howard takes grounders

CLEARWATER — Phillies 1B Ryan Howard, coming back from a torn left Achilles' tendon, is working out without a boot for the first time since a setback three weeks ago.

The 2006 MVP fielded grounders Thursday while sitting on a stool.

"It's good to be out of a boot," Howard said. "I'm trying to make little, miniature goals. The first goal is to get out of the boot. Goal achieved."

Doctors removed an infection from Howard's ankle Feb. 27. He was cleared to start light exercises in a boot last week. He got the okay Wednesday to shed the boot. It's still uncertain when Howard will return, and it's possible he could miss the first two months.

"We'll see," he said. "The whole big thing has been to make sure everything is healed up and that everything is 100 percent; just to make sure we don't have any setbacks or any reoccurrences of anything."

Polanco update: 3B Placido Polanco, out since Saturday with a sprained left ring finger, took batting practice. Manager Charlie Manuel said he could play "over the next couple of days."

Yankees: Pettitte set for batting practice

TAMPA — Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte is scheduled to throw live batting practice today for the first time since ending his retirement March 16. He said he's a little surprised the Yankees already believe he's good to go.

"I know how conservative they usually are," Pettitte, 39, said. "I definitely feel good about (batting practice). As we continue to go, we're just going to see how I feel and make the adjustments from there. We'll try not to push it too hard."

Manager Joe Girardi said the goal is for Pettitte to be in the majors by the first week of May. He added it is possible Pettitte can get into a spring game by the time camp breaks.

"We have a schedule, and we'll stick to the schedule," Girardi said. "We have time. We want to give him what is considered a normal spring training."

Injury updates: SS Derek Jeter, out since March 14 with a sore left calf, is scheduled to play today. He took part in a full workout Thursday, which included running on the infield dirt. He had previously run only on the grass. Also, RF Nick Swisher, who tweaked his groin Tuesday, remains day to day.

Jays: Morrow throws efficient five innings

DUNEDIN — RHP Brandon Morrow allowed one hit, a single in the fifth, and two second-inning walks over five innings in Toronto's 2-0 win over Philadelphia.

He said he was most pleased with needing only 59 pitches.

"Something I set out to do was to improve my pitches per inning and go deeper in games," Morrow said. "I had to go down to the bullpen to throw 15 more to get my pitch count up.

"I'm thinking through at-bats and watching the way (hitters are) reacting to balls and calling a little bit more of my own game. All positives."

Lawrie update: 3B Brett Law­rie, out since March 16 with a sore groin, might return Saturday, manager John Farrell said.


Blue Jays

Where: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

Today: at Rays, 7:05, Port Charlotte


training; (727) 733-0429


Where: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Today: vs. Yankees (ss), 1:05, Clearwater


training; (727) 467-4457


Where: Steinbrenner Field, corner of Dale Mabry and Martin Luther King, Tampa

Today: at Phillies, 1:05, Clearwater; vs. Twins, 1:05, Tampa


training; (813) 879-2244

Bootless Howard takes grounders 03/22/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 22, 2012 9:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  2. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)
  3. For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Erasmo on the mound again


    Coming off Sunday's 6 1/2-hour, 15-inning marathon win over the Twins, the Rays will have the pitcher who finished that game, Erasmo Ramirez, start tonight's game in Texas, first pitch 8:05 Tampa Bay time.

    Ramirez threw only 12 pitches on Sunday so the Rays decided to let him make his planned start tonight, …

  4. USF baseball heads to Gainesville for regional play


    TAMPA — Had USF's players and coaches been less confident in their NCAA Tournament resume, Monday's selection show might have induced fidgeting, perhaps even frustration.

    South Florida coach Mark Kingston looks on during 2017 American Athletic Conference game Tuesday, May 23, 2017 in Clearwater during the American Athletic Conference. The Bulls won 7-6.
  5. Rays call up Jose De Leon to add depth to bullpen tonight


    The Rays decided that after playing 15 innings Sunday they could use some depth and length in their bullpen after all and are calling up RHP Jose De Leon from Triple-A.

    The Rays have recalled Jose De Leon from Triple-A Durham.