By Joe McDonald at 4 March, 2013, 4:29 am
Ryan Howard is looking like a beast this spring — with a ridiculous home run Sunday sure to add to the whispers that the big slugger might be back.
The Philadelphia Phillies first baseman, whose career started so high by winning Rookie of the Year and MVP in his first two seasons, was in unfamiliar territory last season. He stunk.
Coming off an achilles tendon injury in the 2011 playoffs, Howard didn't play until July. Then he hit .219/.295/.423 in 72 games with the under-achieving Phillies, all easily career lows.
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It's too early for the full "Ryan Howard is back!" proclamation, exclamation point and everything. But we'll say this: So far this spring, Howard is swinging like a guy with something to prove — and, consequently, he's making baseballs fly very far. Case in point: This one he annihilated on Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays. It left the stadium and was sent to play in traffic outside Bright House Field.