TAMPA, Fla. -- It will be a while before the Phillies see Ryan Howard back on the field in Spring Training.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field that Howard, who is recovering from a surgical procedure following an infection in his left Achilles, will be in a walking boot for seven to 10 days to keep his foot immobilized.
Howard is taking antibiotics for the infection.
Amaro said there is no timetable for Howard's return to workouts in Clearwater, Fla. Howard has not been on the field since Feb. 25.
Halladay great, Opening Day starter or not
TAMPA, Fla. -- It is probably the worst-kept secret in Spring Training.
Who will be the Phillies' Opening Day starter?
There is every reason in the world to believe it will be Roy Halladay, but so far Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has played coy and decided against making an official announcement. That is fine with Halladay, who allowed two hits, one run and struck out three in two innings Sunday in a 7-4 loss to the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
"Expect it?" Halladay said. "I don't know. Honestly, it's never been a big deal to me. I've always wanted to be on a team where there could be a couple guys that could be starting that [game]. That's always what I wanted to be a part of. I think if you're on a team and there's absolutely no question who's going to start opening day it's going to be a long season. So hopefully there is a little talk about it."
There could be a chance Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels gets the nod, but even Lee and Hamels defer to Halladay as the best pitcher on the team. Halladay won the 2010 National League Cy Young Award and finished second in the voting last season.
"I haven't heard anything," Halladay said. "I was told I was pitching today and I pitch five days from now."
But come April 5 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, bet on Halladay being on the mound for the Phillies.
In the meantime, he will be fine-tuning his delivery and pitch location.
Halladay allowed a home run to Alex Rodriguez in the first inning, but worked out of a jam in the second.
"The games are a great time to correct things," he said. "Great time to bear down mentally and make adjustments."
He is working on that, Opening Day starter or not.
Martinez has tough day in the field
TAMPA, Fla. -- Michael Martinez found himself a favorite for a bench job after the Phillies traded Wilson Valdez to Cincinnati in the offseason.
He remains the favorite, but he can't have too many more days like he had Sunday in a 7-4 loss to the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. He committed two errors and bungled a double play while playing second base.
"You'd like to catch those balls," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "Michael was on our team last year and did a pretty good job defensively. Just because you make some mistakes or errors in one game, it doesn't mean he can't play defense. He played pretty good last year."
Left fielder Domonic Brown went 2-for-4 with a triple, but dropped a ball in left field. The Phillies are looking to see improvement from Brown defensively after moving him from right field to left field late last season. "It was a mistake," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. ... Right-hander Phillippe Aumont was throwing 96 mph consistently, but got no help from his defense as he allowed three runs. Only one of those runs was earned.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.