Tag: ryan howard (page 1 of 7)

Jimmy Rollins was the 5th Best Offensive Player on His Own Team from 2007-2011

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This post is part of The Crosswalk, Crossing Broad’s reader submitted section. While checked for basic quality and readability, it is not edited by Crossing Broad, and all opinions expressed are those of the author, for better or worse. If you’re interested in having your work appear on Crossing Broad, fill out the short sign up form here.

There were six Phillies position players who were key parts of the overwhelming majority of their 5-year NL East dominance from 2007-2011. For this story, Carlos Ruiz was taken out as his offensive numbers were so far below the other five.

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How Bad, Historically Speaking, Is Ryan Howard’s Contract?

Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Crosswalk

This post is part of The Crosswalk, Crossing Broad’s reader submitted section. While risecked for basic quality and readability, it is not edited by Crossing Broad, and all opinions expressed are those of the author, for better or worse. If you’re interested in having your work appear on Crossing Broad, fill out the short sign up form here.

It’s not difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when the Phillies saw their future prospects go from perennial contenders to soon-to-be basement dwellers in one of Major League Baseball’s weakest divisions. The hopes and dreams of a city, just two postseasons removed from a second World Series appearance, came crashing down about 10 feet outside of the left-handed batter’s box at Citizens Bank Park.

The St. Louis Cardinals celebrated their 1-0 victory in Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS, jumping around starting pitcher Matt Chris Carpenter, while Ryan Howard lay in a heaping pile, clutching that left Achilles. That moment, compounded with the well-documented managerial failures in the team’s front office, leaves the Phils exactly where everyone predicted they would be just a handful of years later.

Their trouble, however, really started more than a year prior to that fateful October night, when Ruben Amaro Jr. went all-in on a 30-year-old first baseman who was already showing signs of deteriorating. Howard’s five-year, $125 million, highly-toxic extension was a preview of things to come, in terms of just how terrible RAJ is at his job.

Now, give Howard at least a little credit. Three full seasons later, he’s starting to show a few signs of life, or at least a second wind in the latter stages of his career. His 11 homers through the first two months of the season put him on pace to hit 32 by October—a number he hasn’t come close to since before the injury. That obviously won’t matter as long as he continues to take up space on a roster that ranks dead last in the NL in runs scored (175), OPS (.636), and RBIs (166), and second to last in batting average (.236) and on-base percentage (.287). But maybe it’s enough to garner some interest from an AL team looking to add a left-handed bat by the trade deadline.

Again though, even if they can find a team willing to make a deal, the contract is going to bite them. And that got me thinking—with all of the shit we give him, just how bad, historically speaking, is Howard’s contract compared to the other $100 million+ deals that have been put together over the past few years? Of course, in a sport with seemingly endless statistics, there are myriad ways you could look at this. But let’s stick with baseball nerds’ favorite go-to number: WAR. Wins above replacement.

In the chart below, you’ll find a list of every position player signed to a nine-figure contract since 2008 along with their average WAR prior to their big signing, their average WAR since the contract began, and the difference between the two. There are a few names missing (most notably guys like Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Trout, and Miguel Cabrera) but that’s because their contracts haven’t kicked in yet or they don’t have a full season under their belt with their new deal, so their “average WAR since” can’t be tracked/I didn’t think it was fair to go off of two months of a season. This is my table and I’ll construct it however I damn well please! So, have a look:

Player Team Contract Year started Avg WAR prior Avg WAR since Difference
Albert Pujols

LAA

10/$240,000,000

2012

7.9

3.4

-4.5

Alex Rodriguez

NYY

10/$275,000,000

2008

7.9

3.6

-4.3

Shin-Soo Choo

TEX

7/$130,000,000

2014

4.1

0.1

-4.0

Ryan Zimmerman

WAS

6/$100,000,000

2014

4.2

0.4

-3.8

Joey Votto

CIN

10/$225,000,000

2012

5.6

1.9

-3.7

Ryan Howard

PHI

5/$125,000,000

2012

2.7

-0.5

-3.2

Carl Crawford

LAD/BOS

7/$142,000,000

2011

4.3

1.1

-3.2

Josh Hamilton

LAA

5/$125,000,000

2013

4.1

1.5

-2.6

Matt Kemp

LAD/SD

8/$160,000,000

2012

3.5

1.3

-2.2

Joe Mauer

MIN

8/$184,000,000

2011

5.3

3.3

-2.0

Mark Teixeira

NYY

8/$180,000,000

2009

5.2

2.9

-1.3

Troy Tulowitzki

COL

10/$157,750,000

2011

5.2

4.3

-0.9

Dustin Pedroia

BOS

8/$110,000,000

2014

5.6

4.9

-0.7

Jose Reyes

MIA/TOR

6/$106,000,000

2012

3.6

2.9

-0.7

Prince Fielder

DET/TEX

9/$214,000,000

2012

2.8

2.1

-0.7

David Wright

NYM

8/$138,000,000

2013

4.9

4.2

-0.7

Adrian Gonzalez

BOS/LAD

7/$154,000,000

2012

4.5

3.8

-0.7

Jayson Werth

WAS

7/$126,000,000

2011

3.3

2.7

-0.6

Freddie Freeman

ATL

8/$135,000,000

2014

3.2

2.9

-0.3

Jacoby Ellsbury

NYY

7/$153,000,000

2014

3.4

3.3

-0.1

Matt Holliday

STL

7/$120,000,000

2010

3.9

3.9

0.0

Robinson Cano

SEA

10/$240,000,000

2014

5.0

6.4

1.4

Buster Posey

SF

9/$167,000,000

2013

3.1

5.1

2.0

Right away, the obvious point that can be made is, based on WAR alone—which many stat heads consider to be the grandaddy stat of them all—Howard, despite the injuries and plummeting production, has been out-underperformed by five guys, three of whom were signed to longer and twice-as-expensive deals. And then there’s the fact that nearly every name on the list saw at least a slight dip in their production post-big-deal.

To feel good about this is still pointless. It’s like taking a test home from school that you failed, but trying to explain to your parents that everything’s fine because there were a few other kids in the class who failed it so much worse that you did. “Sure, mom, I got a 55/100. I know that’s bad. But remember Johnny? Yeah, well, he only got a 23, so that makes him twice as stupid as I am! See, aren’t you proud? At least I’m not that dumb. And also, like, almost everyone did really bad. I wasn’t the only one. Are you still upset?” Of course mom’s still going to be disappointed—her kid’s an idiot.

But hey, he could always end up in a front office somewhere pulling the strings for a big league ball club.

[Editor’s note: I think this is a great framework for a post, but completely disagree with the analysis. Yeah, Howard is less disappointing than his peers, but he also had the lowest WAR on this list prior to signing his contract, and is the only guy with a NEGATIVE WAR (he’s literally worse than the average bear!) after it. Most of these guys, after their decline, are still better than Howard was before his deal. Sure, injuries have played a part. But the fact that he was signed to the deal in the first place just speaks to Amaro’s idiocy (honest: I didn’t have a problem with it at the time). Without doing any research, I would assume this list confirms that Howard is the worst player in history to sign a $100 million or more deal.]

The lesson learned from all of this has to be that $100-million deals are basically pointless, right? I mean, based on past performance, a player at the top of their game is going to command, in turn, top-dollar. But anyone who knows anything about baseball (or who’s read Nate Silver’s analysis of the game and about his age curve model) knows that by the time a player has done enough to sign that big of a deal, their best days are likely behind them.

Follow @rlstott on Twitter, and visit www.fullycoveredsports.com for more.

 

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Your Semi-Annual Update on Ryan Howard’s Castle

Voila_Capture 2015-05-29_08-37-40_AM

There lies the house that Rube built, on the Gulf.

This, of course, isn’t the first we’ve seen of Howard’s Florida castle, which looks like it’s just about now being completed. As of last year it was expected to be finished sometime in 2015.

Voila_Capture 2015-05-29_08-37-56_AM

The photos come from reader Dan, who – fun fact! – submitted one of the funniest sample posts last year during the writer search. [Sometimes you can still get content without paying someone!]

Previous posts showing off the house and details of its features, including a moat: Doorknobs, Massive, GIF, Moat.

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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:

Screen shot 2015-03-19 at 3.01.03 PM

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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