Fox Sports and said it will be “great” if first baseman Ryan Howard is able to return to the team in May after undergoing surgery for a ruptured left Achilles.
Amaro said Howard was recently cleared to resume strength-building exercises and some weight-bearing activities. “We’re still being very cautious with him,” Amaro said.
In the meantime, Amaro is content with the internal options to fill in for Howard: John Mayberry Jr., Ty Wigginton, Laynce Nix, and Jim Thome. “We’re covered,” Amaro said.
Amaro is very satisfied with reports on Thome, as he prepares to play in the field on a limited basis. Thome, 41, has played just four games at first base since 2005 – and none since 2007. “Our medical people are surprised at the shape he’s in,” Amaro said. “They think he might be better now than he was when we first signed him in 2002.” Amaro said it’s conceivable that Thome could play first base as often as four or five times per month.