Phillies top pitching prospect, Spencer Howard, likely will not break Phillies camp with the big club, but he sure did impress, making his Spring Training debut today.

“Obviously you really get excited about that arm,” Girardi told “His ability to pitch deep into games, swings and misses. I've watched his bullpens and they've been good and crisp. For him to be able to carry it out here his first time, that's a positive.”

In his first Grapefruit League start, Howard threw a scoreless eighth inning, giving up a pair of hits in the Phillies’ 5-1 win Tuesday over the Twins, striking out one and issuing no walks.

“It felt good,” Howard told “A little jumpy, too much energy towards the beginning, but I got in a groove near the end and felt good, overall. I feel healthy.”

What’s next for Howard? That remains to been seen, possibly another Grapefruit League appearance. Either way, Howard is getting the kind of valuable experience he needs to hopefully help the Phillies at some point this season.

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