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Ryan Howard has suffered multiple injuries the past few seasons. In his final at-bat of 2011 Howard tore his Achilles tendon, and spent months rehabbing before playing his first game of 2012 in July.
With the Achilles injury, it was clear that Howard wasn’t 100-percent healthy at any point last season. His numbers were sub-par (albeit in a short season), as he hit only 14 home runs and drove in 56 runs while batting a dismal .219.
At the end of last season, Howard broke a toe after dropping a lead pipe on his foot in the on-deck circle. However, at the beginning of the offseason, Amaro remarked that Howard had begun offseason training which was already showing results in November.
Although it will take some time for Howard to be back to 100-percent healthy, he is plenty capable of producing just enough for the Phillies this year, say 25 homers and 85 RBI.
Don't expect Jimmy Rollins to lead this team in home runs and RBI this year, as he was called on to be the centerpiece for run production last year.
With a full offseason of workouts under his belt, Howard will be expected to be a major force in the middle of the lineup and live up to his contract. He signed a five-year, $125 million extension in 2010.
It’s not set in stone, and Howard could easily re-injure his fragile ankles, but if all goes well, Howard will play a big part in the success (or failure) of the Phillies.