Phillies notes: Spencer Howard scratched, Brad Miller improving


Spencer Howard was supposed to pitch two innings for the Phillies against the New York Yankees in Tampa on Monday.

Didn’t happen.

Howard experienced back spasms Monday morning and was scratched from the assignment.

Manager Joe Girardi did not seem alarmed.

“We expect him to be available in a couple of days,” Girardi said.

Howard was supposed to come in after starter Chase Anderson, who pitched three shutout innings. That tandem could be something the Phillies employ at some point in the regular season. Anderson lines up to be the Phillies’ fifth starter and it’s possible that Howard could end up piggybacking on some of his starts.

There are a number of other ways the Phillies could utilize Howard, including keeping him on call in the minors early in the season, but first he has to put the back spasms behind him and get back on the mound.


Results of an MRI performed on utility man Brad Miller showed a “little, little” oblique strain, according to Girardi.

“My guess is we’ll re-evaluate him in five or six days and see where he’s at,” Girardi said.

Is it still possible that Miller could be ready for opening day?

“Yes, definitely,” Girardi said.


Presumed opening day starter Aaron Nola gets the ball Tuesday against Toronto.

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