February 22, 1992 |
The best part about the first day of spring training is that it reminds us how little baseball resembles real life. In real life, nobody gets to pretend that all that bad stuff in the past never happened and nobody gets to start all over with just as much chance as anybody else to be a star. But in baseball, that happens every year. It happens on the first day of spring training, a day when everybody has gone undefeated for the last 117 days in a row - and feels like it. On the first day of spring training for the Phillies yesterday, Pat Combs could walk to the mound for the first time in six months and start reminding everybody that he once was regarded as the big hope for the future around here.
August 3, 1989 |
On a Phillies pitching staff beset by continuing change and uncertainty, it's clear the team has a solid starter with overpowering potential in Ken Howell. Howell blew away the Chicago Cubs last night at Veterans Stadium with as dominant a performance as any produced this season by a Phils pitcher. He allowed the Cubs only three singles and fanned nine on his way to a 6-0 victory. Howell threw only 95 pitches in the first major-league complete game of his career and his first shutout.
March 25, 1993 |
Three years, eight victories and $4.75 million dollars ago, Ken Howell never could have envisioned his Phillies career concluding like this. But there was Howell yesterday, quietly packing equipment into a red canvas bag, preparing to make the trip to Carpenter Complex. As an unpaid, unaffiliated pitcher, he will continue his long-shot comeback from shoulder surgery there. The Phils released Howell yesterday, deciding not to send the recuperating righthander to the minor leagues, but allowing him the use of their facilities for as long as he needed them.
March 15, 1991 |
Dr. Phillip Marone performed surgery on Ken Howell's right shoulder yesterday. He ground down a bone spur in a 75-minute procedure and reported no other problems in the shoulder area. Howell was due to return to Clearwater, Fla., today. "He had a growth of bone on the end of his clavicle," Marone said. "We cut some scar tissue out and rotored down that extra piece of bone. " Marone said he expects Howell to begin throwing in about two weeks and pitching in about four or five weeks after that.
August 1, 1991 |
Ken Howell got his first victory of the season as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons defeated Richmond, 5-3, in an International League game last night. Howell, the former Phillies ace who is rehabilitating his right shoulder with the triple-A team, went the first five innings, allowing five hits and three runs. He struck out five and walked three. READING 13, LONDON 2 READING - Leadoff hitter Bruce Dostal had a single and a double in an eight-run first inning, which powered the Phillies to a pasting of London in an Eastern League game.
February 21, 1989 |
Say you were Lee Thomas, sitting there at the winter meetings. Say you had a chance to trade for a pitcher who threw well over 90 m.p.h. and who had struck out 315 hitters in 302 2/3 innings in his brief tenure in the big leagues. Say this same guy's career record in triple A was Dwight Gooden material (such as 18-3). Say his triple-A record in 1988 had been 10-1, 3.27, in a notorious hitter's park. Let us just ask you now: If you were Lee Thomas, would someone like that have attracted your attention just a little bit?
March 3, 1992 |
Jim Fregosi says he isn't worried about Ken Howell. Ken Howell says he isn't worried about Ken Howell. But even Howell, the rehabbing righthander who hasn't pitched competitively for a season and a half because of recurring shoulder problems, concedes he hasn't exhibited the same velocity as the other power pitchers in camp. "I'm not letting it go yet," he said. "I'm probably throwing about 70 percent. I'm a little behind in that sense, but I just don't think I can take a chance.
March 6, 1991 |
Ken Howell has an ache in his right shoulder. That much we know. Ken Howell had X-rays taken of that shoulder. They appeared to show a bone spur. That much we learned yesterday. Ken Howell says that, if he really does have a bone spur, he would like to have an operation as soon as possible. That's the third thing we know. But is all this bad, disastrous, catastrophic or practically meaningless? Only one employee of the Phillies can answer that question - team doctor Phillip Marone.
May 23, 1989 |
Righthander Steve Ontiveros had an arthrogram and a tomogram performed on his sore elbow yesterday in Philadelphia. Club physician Dr. Phillip Marone reported that no abnormalities were found. "There were no loose bodies. Just some inflammation," Marone said. Ontiveros accompanied the Phillies to Los Angeles, where Dr. Lewis Yocum, who performed surgery on Ontiveros's elbow last October, also will examine him. Before this latest problem arose, the Phillies had expected Ontiveros to be activated Sunday and pitch Thursday night against the Dodgers.
March 7, 1991 |
In the clubhouse, Ken Howell was about to take his famous bone spur for one more test - and was still talking about shoulder surgery in terms of when, not if. In the general manager's office, Lee Thomas was still awaiting a final medical ruling - but seemed so resigned to losing his No. 1 starter that he was beginning to think he might have to make a trade. Out on the lush green fields of Jack Russell Stadium yesterday, life for the Phillies went on. Already, guys like Bruce Ruffin and Jason Grimsley were auditioning for the spot on the pitching staff that Howell's expected absence will almost certainly leave.