Tag: ryan howard (page 1 of 7)

Ryan Howard is Now #100 on the All-Time Home Run List

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Howard hit his first home run of the season last night. The two-run bomb helped lead the Phillies to a 7-3 win, but that’s not the only thing it did. It also squeezed Ryan Howard into the top 100 list for career home runs. It was Howard’s 335th home run, which ties him with Darryl Strawberry and puts him one behind Joe Adcock for the 99th spot. Additionally, for fun stat reasons, here are some other facts about his 335 career round-trippers:

  • 173 of his 335 have been hit in Citizens Bank Park. The most at a visiting park? 20 at Turner Field.
  • Only 87 of his 335 have been hit off of lefties.
  • 24% of his HRs have been in two-pitch at bats, and 18% have been in three-pitch at bats. Patience is not his bag.
  • 48% of his HRs have been solo shots.

Howard becomes the 7th player in the top 100 to have played for the Phillies. Among the original 16 teams, only the Pirates have fewer. But he’s much higher on one list: Howard is 10th in NL history for “career HR by a player who has spent his whole career with 1 team.” He’s likely to be DQ’d from that list at some point.

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Ryan Howard Couldn’t Hit Curveballs and Now He Can’t Hit Fastballs

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline - USA Today Sports

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today Sports

Ryan Howard has always had problems with breaking pitches but he could hit the hell out of a fastball. This year is different, according to David Murphy:

Still, eight games are what we have at our disposal, and the fact is Howard has been abysmal against a pitch he used to destroy with regularity, a pitch whose obliteration used to make up for the flaws in his swing. Heading into last night’s game against the Mets, in which Darin Ruf started at first base against lefty Jon Niese, Howard was averaging a swing-and-miss every five fastballs, nearly double his career whiff rate against the hard stuff. And he has seen plenty of hard stuff. Nearly 65 percent of all of his pitches have been four-seamers or sinkers. Seven of his 10 strikeouts have come on those pitches.

Once again, it’s a small sample size, but Howard is only facing 3.25 pitches per at bat, down from a career average of 4.05. He’s swung at 50% of first pitches, up from 31%. He’s seen zero 3-0 counts, zero 3-1 counts, and zero 2-0 counts. So he’s missing fastballs, missing breaking pitches, and being incredibly impatient.

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An Atlantic League Team is Accepting Donations to Trade for Ryan Howard

Screen shot 2015-03-19 at 2.55.03 PM

The Phillies are trying to move Ryan Howard. That’s no secret. They’re willing to eat $50 million of the $60 million owed to him. That only leaves $10 million for his next team to pick up, and at least one team is interested: The Atlantic League’s York Revolution. Sadly, the maximum salary for the Atlantic League is “roughly $3,000 per month,” so they’re taking donations.

If there are roughly 400,000 people living in York County, we only need $25 from each of them to have the funds necessary to put Ryan Howard in a Revolution uniform. Some dads might have to dock a kid’s allowance for a couple weeks, big deal.

And to make sure people won’t let the $25 number hold them back, they’ve lowered the requested donation down to $10, and each fan who donates will get two ticket vouchers to the Revolution’s Opening Night game in York on April 24th. If they don’t raise the $9,997,000 needed to entice the Phillies to make an illegal trade, the team will donate 83% of the funds (the same % the Phillies are willing to eat) to Penn-Mar Human Services.

The Minor Leagues are funny, you may think. The York Revolution isn’t laughing:

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Man, the Minor Leagues are funny.

h/t reader Kevin

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Report: The Phillies Are Willing to Eat the Entire Budget of Ted In Ryan Howard Trade

Photo Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

When the Phillies had talked about the possibility of moving Ryan Howard in the offseason, there was always the understanding that the they would have to eat some of his salary to do so. That’s still the deal, and how much salary are they willing to gobble up? About $50 million.

According to Sports on Earth’s Anthony Castrovince, the Phillies have been “telling (uninterested) teams they’re willing to swallow a significant chunk of the $60 million still owed to Howard over the next two years,” namely $50 million of that $60 million, giving Ryan Howard a yearly salary (for the receiving team) about $1.5 million more than what the Phils are currently paying Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. That’s a steal … probably.

The time to move Howard might be coming to an end, but if he opens up the season with a strong showing, and the Phillies are still willing to eat that sum of money, he could be on his way out. And just to think, 2015 could be the year we finally get some return on Ryan Howard.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

howardiso

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.

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