I got a chance to see Ryan Howard's rehab, first hand tonight in Allentown. The IronPigs won the game 2-1, sweeping the double-header from Pawtucket to go two games up in the division after the day. Ryne Sandberg's crew won both games without using a starting pitcher. Not bad. Sandberg's upbeat about Howard and Utley. But you want to read about Ryan Howard. Here's my thoughts about "The Big Piece."
Howard is definitely heavy and out of shape. To be fair, he was basically 100% shut down all winter. Also, let's be fair- Prince Fielder isn't exactly a model of conditioning, and he's outstanding.
Howard got some good hacks tonight, though he didn't get hits. I thought his bat speed looked fine, and he was hitting the ball the other way. All of these are very good signs.
His defense wasn't outstanding, but he was adequate. He didn't look awkward, he made the plays that he should, and while he didn't look like a cat down there, I think he'll survive it.
All in all, it was just good to...