PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Just like the lead up to the 2013 Phillies season, the 2014 version has a lot of “ifs” that have to come true for the Phillies to compete. Not the least of which is “if” Ryan Howard can be healthy, and have a return to the form that made him one of the premier sluggers in baseball.
According to Amaro, Howard is on his way to the first part of his “if.”
“Ryan Howard is at one hundred percent, finally. It’s the first time he’s actually felt normal. He’s down there at Clearwater hitting and working out. The reports on our guys is that, health wise, are doing,knock wood, are doing very well and that’s going to be a key element for us,” Amaro told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Friday.
Howard has played in only 151 games combined in the last two seasons, due to various ailments.
Amaro also gave a positive update about the player who, if healthy, will be Jonathan Papelbon’s set-up man.
“I got very good news about [Mike] Adams over the last couple of weeks. He’s throwing well, that’s important. Is he going to be ready for the season and is he going to stay healthy? I don’t know that, but he’s doing very well,” Amaro said.
Amaro has said repeatedly that he believes the Phillies have the talent to compete for a championship. He didn’t back off that claim.
“We have talent on our club and we have a good balance in our lineup. Whether or not—we need to score more runs. We’re going to have to score 650 or 700 runs to compete for the National League East and I think with the lineup that could potentially be in Ryne Sandberg’s hands, I think that we can do that,” Amaro said. “It’s one thing to spend, it’s another thing to spend money kind of wisely. It just didn’t make sense, at least yet for us, to spend the money on certain players that, I don’t know, the talent didn’t equate to what they were going to be making.”
“Winning creates a better atmosphere and we have to create wins. And I think with Ryno [Ryne Sandberg] and his staff, and with the health that we have, with the top of our rotation the way it is, and what I think potentially what will be a quality bullpen, we think we can win games.”