Bits: Ryan Howard set to return to bigs 

July, 6, 2012

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard singled twice and walked twice for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday, then announced he'd start for the big league club Friday night. Howard, who hit .417 over four games for the IronPigs, hasn't played in the majors since tearing his Achilles tendon last October. He's owned in 94 percent of ESPN standard leagues and should provide power, but at a greater risk of re-injury.

Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Michael Fiers allowed two runs over 7 1/3 innings Thursday, striking out nine. Fiers was outdueled by Mark Buehrle, but now boasts a 2.31 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with 50 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings. Expect some regression, as hitters should get accustomed to his odd delivery, but Fiers is a nice short-term add in deeper leagues.