Howard has been on the disabled list all year after tearing his left Achilles
tendon in the last at-bat during the 2011 NLDS against St. Louis. He underwent
offseason surgery, and the Phillies have used several players as placeholders
playing first base in a disappointing 2012 campaign.
After slugging .488 -- the lowest of his career -- in 2011, Howard figures to
give the offense a power boost as he returns. So far this season, Phillies
first basemen have slugged .414, which is 17th in the majors but a far cry
from the customary results.
During his seven-game rehabilitation assignment, Howard batted 10-for-20 with
two doubles, one homer and five walks.
In 152 games last season, the normally-durable Howard batted .253 with a .346
on-base percentage to go with 33 homers.
To make room for Howard on the 25-man roster, the club optioned infielder
Hector Luna to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.