Ryan Howard does not want to discuss how good he’s feeling this spring. Judging by his play Tuesday, which marked the first game of spring, it’s easy to assume he’s feeling OK. Howard went 2-for-2 on a toasty day at Bright House Field, his second hit a solo smash to center field off lefty Cesar Jimenez. His first hit — off southpaw Jesse Biddle — was an RBI single to right field. The results do not mean much on the whole. They came in an intrasquad game against inferior pitching. But Howard, who is noticeably trimmer and plans on being an impact player this season, doesn’t want to talk about it. “Are you trying to jinx me? See, I don’t like answering those questions because I just like going out here and trying to do my thing,” Howard said. “It’s been a lot of the past couple years where it’s like we’ve been kind of doing the whole same thing. I know you guys have a job as far as asking me the same thing every year. But this year I really don’t want to answer them. I feel fine.” His manager will readily answer those questions. Ryne Sandberg knows that, no matter the opposition, it’s nice to see Howard mash lefty pitching. In the past two seasons, Howard has hit .173 against left-handed pitching. “He’s talked to me about that himself. He’s approached me about seeing left-handed pitching,” Sandberg said. “For me, facing a left-hander, if he makes the left-handers throw strikes, in my opinion he can hit balls in the strike zone. He had some good at-bats.” Howard was not Tuesday’s only star. Freddy Galvis looked the part of capable major league bench player and maybe more in the intrasquad, belting two doubles. Galvis has never lacked the pop to hit gappers. It’s his violent swings, from excellent to poor, that have prevented Galvis from staying on a major league roster for an entire season. In his only two seasons seeing big-league time, Galvis has averaged 64 games and 211 at-bats a year. He is a career .230 hitter. Sandberg is a fan of Galvis, saying earlier in the winter the 24-year-old was a leading candidate for a bench spot. His defense has proven elite. His offense is a different story.
Phillies' Howard just letting his bat do the talking
Courier-Post | Feb 26