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Howard to DL; Coste recalled

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Breaking news has it that the Phillies finally sent slugger Ryan Howard to the disabled list this evening, bringing back C/1b/folk hero Chris Coste from Ottawa to take his roster spot.

Presumably Howard's DL stint will be backdated to Thursday, meaning he'll be eligible to come off on May 25. In the meantime, my guess is that Greg Dobbs and Wes Helms will share the first base job, with Coste coming off the bench and maybe getting a start or two; Dobbs and Helms also might continue to see time at third along with Abe Nunez, who's raised his batting average 101 points with 11 hits in his last 27 at-bats.

Of course, the most important thing is to get Howard well. A repeat of his 2006 campaign probably was never in the cards, but more modest expectations of stardom--40 to 45 homers, 120 or so RBI, a .950 OPS--were and are reasonable. They need him badly, as much as they need a few more non-flammable relievers and Adam Eaton and Freddy Garcia to earn their paychecks. Get well soon, big guy.