The Phillies have officially activated Ryan Howard and wasted no time in getting him back in the starting lineup.
The Big Piece will reassume the clean-up spot in Charlie Manuel's reshuffled deck, which includes a couple of surprises: Rollins SS, Victorino CF, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Ruiz C, Pence RF, Pierre LF, Fontenot 3B, Kendrick P. To make room for Howard, Hector Luna was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Luna, who joined Jim Thome and others as fill-ins for Howard at first, hit .246/.295/.386 with two home runs in a near two-month, perfectly adaquate 61 plate-appearance stint with the Phils.
Bench impact: The move also means that Ty Wigginton and John Mayberry Jr. will take their place on the bench as pinch hitters and/or defensive subs. These days, the bench also includes Placido Polanco or Mike Fontenot, Juan Pierre on occasion, Chase Utley on occasion, Erik Kratz and outfielder Jason Pridie, who recently joined the club and finds himself as the Phillies' only lefty bench bat. Time will tell how often Manuel plans to start Howard.