Originally written on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 10/29/14

-As you know, Kyle Kendrick has signed a two-year contract to stick around with the team. Ruben Amaro Jr. has often times talked about cost certainty, and this signing seems to fall within that category.

Howard is progressing nicely.


As the beats have announced today from Clearwater (we are not there, but will be for a week in March), Ryan Howard is ahead of schedule according to Charlie Manuel. He’s is schedule to take swings within the next few days. This is fantastic news, although it should be taken with a large heap of caution.

The Phillies will not rush Howard back if they don’t have to. They should be able to stay afloat long enough. David Hale of the Wilmington News Journal says mid-May and I happen to agree with that. Although, Chase Utley was back earlier than expected last year (probably because no one had any timetable on him), this injury is more serious. Howard is a big boy and needs that achillies for the long-haul. No rush.


There has been a lot of talk – most notably from Jonathan Papelbon – that Jim Thome might be in the best shape anyone has ever seen. It appears Thome is serious about playing a couple of days a week at first base. Jim Jam will get at least 100 at-bats as a pinch hitter, perhaps more, according to Charlie Manuel. The Phillies skipper is hoping for 200 total AB’s for the season.

Again, it remains to be seen how much Thome can give, but if he’s in that sort of shape, it’s only a positive.


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The Phillies plan on lightening Chase Utley’s load during Spring Training, keeping him and his knee fresh for the long season ahead.

It’s obviously the right move, and really the only move. No sense in having Utley overwork that leg in meaningless ballgames. If he didn’t appear in half the Spring Training games on the Phillies schedule, I’m not sure anyone would care. It looks like the team is taking a very cautious approach…finally. However, he’ll still need plenty of rest during the regular season, too.

If we set the over/under at 140 games for Utley during the regular season, which bet would you place?


Jose Contreras hasn’t thrown off a mound yet, but that day seems to be approaching. As you know, Contreras missed much of last year with elbow trouble, and has begun a throwing program. He’ll likely throw from in front of the mound on Monday. If they can get this guy 100% healthy for the season, this bullpen could be quite formidable. All about health.

Reports from The Philadelphia Inquirer and Wilmington News Journal were used.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Wells Report released, findings not encouraging for Tom Brady

Bursting the NFL playoff expansion bubble

LeSean McCoy: Chip Kelly got rid of ‘all the good black players’

Eric Weddle 'not coming in anytime soon,' seeks new deal

Chris Johnson: I’d be a good fit with Cowboys


Dansby on Manziel: 'He's grown up right before our eyes'

Gregg Popovich reportedly makes $11 million per year

Stephen Strasburg is hurt again

Mayweather has message for Pacquiao about injured shoulder

Has Blake Griffin taken the next step?

Mike Evans liked Winston more than Mariota

'The Mike Conley Broken Face Game' (and why he's the man)

Five NFL QBs facing make-it or break-it seasons in 2015

Jim Harbaugh: I'd love to see Judge Judy on Supreme Court

Which game statistically is most important in an NHL series?

Chip Kelly: 'I won't be here' if Eagles have to draft top QB

WATCH: Olympian uses javelin to pull out daughter's tooth

The brewing dispute over Alex Rodriguez’s bonuses

NCAA to hold record 42 bowl games next season

Mike Wallace: 'I'm the fastest player in the NFL'

Ty Lawson could be trade target for Celtics

WATCH: Zack Greinke does great bat flip after hitting double

WATCH: Fan uses beer as ice pack after being hit by ball

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jim Harbaugh: I'd love to see Judge Judy on Supreme Court

Chip Kelly: 'I won't be here' if Eagles have to draft top QB

Brewing dispute over A-Rod’s bonuses

Top eight NFL free agents on the market

Eagles' Chip Kelly & Sam Bradford: In like, but not love

Manziel moves from downtown Cleveland

Making sense of the AL East pile-up

Chris Bosh on blood clot diagnosis: ‘I’m lucky to be alive’

Projecting the All-Star Game rosters

Tiger hasn't slept in three days since Lindsey Vonn breakup

2015 NBA Draft big board, first edition

Eliminate Hack-A-Player: Don't reward violating sports rules

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.