Tag: ryan howard (page 1 of 6)

Mike Schmidt Says Ryan Howard Should Be a DH, Wishes He Was

Photo Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

We know Ruben Amaro just recently figured out that Ryan Howard shouldn’t be here anymore. By then, it was too late to actually do anything reasonable about it (it was actually too late as soon as he signed his last contract), but that’s the past. And also the present. But at least one person is jealous of the treatment Howard has gotten here: Michael Jack Schmidt.

Schmidt told Mike Missanelli:

“[Howard is] myself in the late ’80’s. There was Von Hayes. And there were a bunch of young kids who were just trying to learn how to play the game and compete in the Major Leagues. I really needed to be a DH on a contending team. That’s where I really needed to be. No one said that to me.”

If only, Schmidt says to himself, I had been able to collect so much money while batting .223 and then just bounce over to some contender to go on a pennant run I don’t deserve. That’s the dream.

It’s a sad state of baseball in this city when Mike Schmidt, one of the all-time greats, is wishing his career went a little more like Ryan Howard’s. Schmidt continued, stating the blatantly obvious: “It might be better for everyone if Ryan Howard were somewhere hitting 30-35 home runs and driving in 100-110 runs for a contending team.”

Believe me Mike, we’d all prefer that.


Chase Utley is the 8th Best 2nd Baseman and Ryan Howard has the 7th Worst Contract

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of his age, Chase Utley is still a draw. Other than checking out some of the young talent this year, many fans will head out to Citizens Bank Park so they can still watch Chase play (and Cole, which might weigh a bit on the front office when it comes to trading him away). And it’s not like he’s some sad lump of a player who can barely field a ball or swing a bat any more. He may be 36, but according to the MLB Network, he’s still a top-ten 2nd baseman.

Utley is sandwiched between Howie Kendrick and Brian Dozier on the list, which also features (in order from the top) Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Ben Zobrist, Neil Walker, Ian Kinsler, and Jose Altuve. Utley was ranked 5th last year, but some of the guys on that list really came into their own and Chase is now a year older. The system may be flawed, and an 8th place ranking might not inspire undying love, but it’s still nice.

Elsewhere in top bottom 10 rankings, Ryan Howard’s contract was named the 7th worst in baseball by Grantland’s Jonah Keri. At this point, only being the 7th worst feels like a win, because Howard’s contract is basically two-years, $60 million at this point. Keri puts it at $60 million because “Howard will make $25 million in both 2015 and 2016, after which the Phillies will buy out his 2017 option for $10 million.” We hope it doesn’t even go that far. But here he is on the now-legendarily terrible contract:

Howard is the original cautionary tale against extending star players two years before free agency, and his contract has been a source of near-universal mockery since the day it was announced. Putting the 35-year-old former MVP up for sale is the right move for the Phillies, but it’s doubtful any team would want Howard, even if the Phils paid the bulk of his freight. At this point in his career, even calling Howard a platoon DH is probably pushing it: His numbers over the last three years look startlingly similar to Luke Scott’s, and Scott had to go to Korea to find a job.

Sure, we’ll never top the Mets and their hilarious Bobby Bonilla snafu, but when it comes to paying players while they’re playing, Ruben Amaro has built himself a legacy of spending like there’s no tomorrow and then somehow not getting fired when tomorrow comes.


Ryan Howard’s New Children’s Book Drops Tomorrow

Voila_Capture 2015-01-26_11-05-10_AM

I’m sorry, what?

Ryan and Krystle Howard (a former teacher) have released their first in a series of children’s books about the baseball adventures of… wait for it… keep waiting… here goes: Little Rhino!

From the book’s description on Amazon, which lists the author as a guy whose career highlight came nine years ago:

A new chapter book series from Major League Baseball’s 2006 National League MVP, Ryan Howard!

Every day when Little Rhino comes home from school, he finishes his homework, grabs his bat, his glove, and runs outside to meet Grandpa James. They always practice catching and hitting in the backyard. Playing baseball with grandfather is Little Rhino’s favorite thing to do, especially when he pretends to be a real Major League homerun hitter.

One afternoon, after a long day of second grade, Little Rhino comes home to find out that Grandpa James has signed him up for a baseball league! Little Rhino will finally be a part of a team! But Little Rhino will quickly learn that is not always so easy to a good teammate, especially when there’s a bully wearing the same uniform as you.

From Major League Baseball superstar Ryan Howard and his wife, Krystle Howard, a former elementary school teacher, this exciting new series is a fun read for sports and book fans alike!

I’m going to be extremely upset if the bully is not a wedgie-giving narcissist named Five-Eighths, because Howard wrote in the prologue: “Not everything in these books happened to me, but a lot of it is based on my life!” Oh boy, I can’t wait for the one where Little Rhino is backwards-K’ed by Tiny Gimpy, or the one where Grandpa James tells Little Rhino he’s not welcome on the team anymore and no other team wants him because he commands too many orange wedges. That would serve as a harsh dose of reality to those sickeningly rosy youngsters.


The Phillies Should be able to Find Someone Who Wants Ryan Howard, or Not

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

We all expected Ruben Amaro to make some big moves this offseason. So far, there have been a few (Rollins, Bastardo, and Byrd are all gone). But the two big names that everyone expected to be dealt — Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels — are still here. Hamels can bring back a lot in a deal, but keeping him around wouldn’t be the worst thing. Howard, however…

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Phillies should be able to find a new home for Ryan Howard. Whether they do or not is a different issue. Rosenthal’s point is basically that “teams doing their homework would find reasons to believe Howard actually might improve next season.” But here’s a short snipped of a conversation Rosenthal had with “an American League executive” which likely sums up the outlook of multiple such execs:

“What does he do well?” I replied, “Hit home runs” – Howard had 23 in 569 at-bats last season. To which the exec replied, “Still had a .380 SLG.”

A .380 slugging percentage is six points below the Major League average. Still, Rosenthal thinks the Phillies can find a deal if they’re willing to pay the difference on Howard’s salary vs. his “fair market value,” which Rosenthal puts at around $7-10 million per season.

And Amaro has already publicly stated, as pointed out by Ryan Lawrence, that he and Howard have discussed the Phillies being better off without the slugger. Lawrence thinks Howard could land in Tampa — close to his Florida mansion which will be finished one day, probably — still with the Phillies eating most of his paycheck. After all, Ryan Howard isn’t a great baseball player, but for the right price you could sure do a lot worse. Laying it out simply: Why is he still here?


The above chart, via Crashburn Alley, shows Howard’s “isolated power” numbers — slugging percentage minus batting average — over the past nine seasons. There’s a trend there. That trend is down, down, down. Last year, at least via this one statistic, Howard officially became a below average hitter at his position. If you’re looking for power and don’t care about batting average, Ryan Howard isn’t your best option for the money. Bill Baer at Crashburn Alley continues:

If you’re the GM of a team considering acquiring Howard, what is the upside? A .308 wOBA isn’t hard to find in the bargain bin. For example, free agent utilityman Kelly Johnson is projected at .306. Padres outfielder Will Venable — pushed out given the team’s new-look outfield — would cost very little and is projected at .306. Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier wouldn’t cost much more and is pegged at .324. White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo is without a position; his projected .322 wOBA could be had on the cheap as well.

But Howard doesn’t even really need to be traded now, Baer argues, because he won’t really make the team worse or hold up their rebuild (as long as he doesn’t start at first base and take up playing time), and his value may increase as injuries occur for other teams or players don’t pan out.

“While trading Howard now would have symbolic value,” Baer says, “it doesn’t seem like a realistic option right now.”

That may be true, but that symbolism sure would be nice… or at least a sign that Amaro is capable of doing something useful with his time.


Ryan Howard is Still a Phillie, Even if Ruben Amaro Says he Shouldn’t Be

Photo Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

This is what our next few months is going to look like: Ruben Amaro Jr., always thinking one or two steps behind everyone else, told Ryan Howard about a week ago that the Phillies are probably better off without him. According to NJ.com, Ruben told Mike Missanelli:

“I told him that in our situation it would probably bode better for the organization not with him but without him. With that said if he’s with us, then we’ll work around him. We’ll hope he puts up the kind of numbers that we hope he can and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

According to the Boston Globe, at least one GM said he would “use Howard as a DH” if he was released and his contract eaten by the Phillies. At this point — not that trading him was ever really a reasonable option — that is probably the only way forward. Especially after you tell every reporter within earshot that you don’t want him around anymore.

But speaking of questionable GMing, reportedly — and unsurprisingly — the only thing getting in the way of a Hamels to the Red Sox deal is Ruben Amaro. As Peter Gammons said:

The Red Sox made it clear when they opened talks about Hamels that they will not deal Mookie Betts, who is clearly a regular and he who wills the vital role of leadoff hitter … They will also not trade catcher Blake Swihart. Now, Charlie Manuel saw more games in the Boston system than any other team and believes Garin Cecchini is a rising star and loves several others, but while Manuel is one of the best evaluators—particularly of hitters—in the game, his voice is not heard by Amaro. Nor is the voice of Pat Gillick, who would look at this list of the nine big trades for “ace” pitchers in the last seven years, thought out building to 2017 and gone immediately to outfielder Manuel Margot, third baseman Rafael Devers or shortstop Javier Guerra. Get one, the way the Cubs got Addison Russell, two pitchers in the Anthony Ranaudo generation and use the $100M to build internationally.

Gammons follows this up with a list of trades involving ace pitchers (three of which involve the Phillies) and shows how small their returns were. “The Phillies are on landfill with this Hamels deal,” Gammons says, and it’s one of Ruben’s making.


Ryan Howard’s Family Is the Worst

Ryan and Corey, via The Fightins

Ryan and Corey, via The Fightins

This portion of Ryan Howard’s counter claim to the lawsuit brought by his twin brother, Corey, describes just about everything that can go wrong when an otherwise well-meaning family comes into some money: Continue reading


UPDATE: The Royals May Want Ryan Howard and the Phillies Reportedly Want to “blow the whole thing up”

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


Yesterday, the annual General Manager Meetings — more low-key than the famed “Winter Meetings,” but talks still happen — kicked off in Phoenix, where GMs will be able to start laying the groundwork for some trades and free agent signings and more. That’s where Ruben Amaro said this:

“We’re looking to improve in all areas. We’re looking to improve this year, but we’re more concerned with what we’re going to be doing down the road, improving down the road. Ultimately, you’d like to not have to take a step backward, but if that’s what we have to do for the longterm viability and sustainability of our club, that’s what we’ll try to do. Like I’ve said, we’re open to talk about anybody.”

But it’s not just “open to talk,” according to Jim Salisbury, who is reporting that the famed “rival executive” says the Phillies are “trying to blow the whole thing up,” and “everyone is for sale.” The biggest pieces the Phillies would be hesitant to move, according to this same executive, were Cole Hamels and Ken Giles. They should definitely be more hesitant about the guy who is 24.

Not on that “hesitant to move” list is Ryan Howard, who is reportedly rousing some interest within the Royals organization. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Royals think Howard could be their replacement for Billy Butler in the everyday DH role, but only if the Phillies are willing to eat most of his contract, which they reportedly are.

And as for the one piece – but not the big one – who could be coming in rather than going out? Yasmany Tomas’ agent met with Amaro yesterday, but they’re reportedly “just talking” at this point. The Phillies are still the frontrunner to land Tomas, but they’ve played spoiler to other people’s plans before — they are not down with O.P.P. — so anyone can do it to them.

UPDATE: Salisbury says the Royals thing is overblown, according to a source:

“Teams discuss every player,” the person said.

The Royals are looking for a designated hitter, but they’d prefer to add someone with more versatility, probably a player that can play some outfield, as well. Sounds like Marlon Byrd, another Phillie on the trading block, could be more of a fit for the Royals.



The Phillies Have Discussed Moving Cody Asche to the Outfield Like it Matters

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Anything could happen with the Phillies this off-season. They could sign Yasmani Tomas. They could trade Howard/Utley/Rollins/Hamels/Byrd/anyone. They could make some moves to bring prospects in. We could all finally find out if Yasmani ends with an ‘i’ or a ‘y’. And sure, they could move Cody Asche to the outfield because why not.

According to Hardball Talk, the Phillies have discussed the possibility of making Asche a corner outfielder to make room for Maikel Franco at third base. This all depends on Ryan Howard’s status — if the Big Piece is gone, Franco can play first and Asche will remain at third. Additionally, if Howard stays, we’ll all be super salty about it for months.

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