Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 3/14/12
As Ryan Howard navigates through the clubhouse in a walking boot, it's clear the big slugger won't be in the Philadelphia Phillies' lineup anytime soon. So who's on first? That's a question manager Charlie Manuel still has to figure out in spring training. A combination of four players will try to fill the void, including 41-year-old Jim Thome, who is nearing the end of a career that will likely send him to the Hall of Fame after he retires. Ty Wigginton, Laynce Nix and John Mayberry Jr. also are in the mix. Replacing the 2006 NL MVP won't be easy. ''We need Ryan Howard's power,'' manager Charlie Manuel said Wednesday. ''Bad. Big time. He's our four-hole hitter. He's the guy that knocks in a hundred-and-better for us. I've heard all the remarks about him, but at the same time, when you look up, who else on our team knocks in 120, 130 or 140 runs or is capable of doing it. We need him.'' Howard ruptured his Achilles while making the final out in Philadelphia's 1-0 loss to St. Lo...
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