We’re now almost halfway through the 2012 season, and the Phillies inch closer to getting Howard back. Associated Press via SI.com:
The 32-year-old former NL MVP will begin a rehab assignment with the Class A Lakewood Blue Claws, where he played in 2002.
It’s his first game since rupturing an Achilles tendon after grounding to second for the final out of Game 5 of the National League Division Series.
The Phillies are six games under .500 and 9½ games out of first place, and their first basemen this season have hit .260/.319/.418, far below Howard’s usual level. If he can come back at anywhere near his previous form, the Phillies might still be able to make a run at the NL East title, or at least one of the two wild-card spots.