Clearwater, Fla—Ryan Howard has arrived in camp looking at beginning the season well this year. Howard, who’s known to be a slow starter, has been in Clearwater working on his defense. The Phillies first baseman told the assembled media that he has dropped 20 pounds from his playing weight at the end of last season.
Howard, who now weighs between 250 and 255 pounds, said he entered the offseason determined to drop weight in order to improve his fielding.
“I basically just wanted to come and get right,” said Howard, who weighed around 265 pounds at the start of last spring training. “Not so much a target, but drop 10 pounds or so and see how I felt. And drop another 10 and see how I felt to get to a playing weight and feel good, feel light, feel fast, strong, and go from there.”
Phillies’ legendary broadcaster Harry Kalas will miss most of Spring Training after undergoing surgery earlier this week. The cause of the surgery is unknown, but the Philadelphia Daily News has learned it’s unrelated to the detached retina that sidelined him for part of last season. The surgery is not expected to cause him to miss Opening Day.
Kalas could return to the broadcast booth late in Spring Training. In the meantime, television broadcaster Tom McCarthy will help out on the radio. Keep in mind only one game a week is broadcast on TV, so the loss shouldn’t be that tough to the crew.
Yes, Adam Eaton is in the news again.
The righthander expects to be traded, but said he wouldn’t mind starting the season as a Phillie. (Yeah right!)
“I think odds on favorite I’ll probably going somewhere else, but that’s a good thing, too,” Eaton said. ”This isn’t the only place I fit.” Wait you fit here, Adam?
The Phillies would like to move Eaton, (Ruben Amaro, Jr. has already said he will not be considered for the fifth starter position) but will have to eat most of his $8.5 million salary in order to do it.
“Obviously, it hasn’t been the best fit here,” Eaton said. ”I haven’t had two good years. For me to establish myself again, it might not be here, it might be somewhere else. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just the way it is. There are a lot of pitchers vying for the fifth spot, but like I said a couple years ago with myself and Lieber, stuff happens. Hopefully nothing happens and it makes it a very difficult decision for them, but I’ll just get ready for a season. If it’s a season to be a Phillies, so be it, I’m happy with that, and if it’s a season to be somewhere else, that’s the way it is.”
Next week I have an interview set up with Pat Gillick, an adviser to GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. and the man who hand picked the championship team.