Tag: ryan howard (page 1 of 6)

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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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.

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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

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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

WHAT A DAY THIS IS TURNING OUT TO BE!

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.

Dammit.

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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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Phillies Reportedly Take on Difficult Task of Trying to Trade Ryan Howard

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB offseason is upon us, and with it, the difficult task of attempting to make the Phillies into a ballclub with a clean slate or at least a chance to start putting the pieces in place. To do that, you need money and young players. The Phillies are a bit low on both of those things right now so, according to Buster Olney, the trade takes have begun.

Marlon Byrd is supposedly the most attractive trade target, according to Ken Rosenthal, while Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, and Jimmy Rollins also likely to draw interest. But the Phillies’ biggest challenge will likely be moving Ryan Howard, something they are already trying to do, according to Olney. “The mantra on Howard appears to be: He is priced to move,” Olney says, while pointing out that he pretty much has to be, since the nearly 35-year-old Howard is “still owed $60 million, with $25 million salaries for each of the next two seasons, plus a $10 million buyout of a 2017 team option of $23 million.” The classic Ruben contract.

The Phils will undoubtedly face difficulty trying to move the Big Piece, since his owed money — like the Phillies — does not equate to his performance. Last year, Howard put in his first full season of work since 2011. And compared to 2011, when Howard was on the back-end of his prime and put in roughly the same number of at-bats as 2014, things have dipped. In 2014, he had:

  • 16 fewer runs
  • 12 fewer doubles
  • 10 fewer home runs
  • 21 fewer RBIs
  • 18 more strikeouts
  • an OPS  of .690, (not) good for .145 point dip

The Phillies are going to need to set a low price on Howard, or he won’t be going anywhere. There aren’t many clubs willing to pay $25 million for a .380 slugging percentage and 190 strikeouts. Ruben will also need to take into account the fact that other managers and GMs will start comparing Howard’s production to other DHs — where his numbers do not hold up against his salary or the salaries of others — and with that, Howard’s return value seems to be dropping by the minute.

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Three Phillies Earned a Spot on the Sporting News’ List of the Worst Everyday Players from 2014

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Well, technically two and a half: The Sporting News just released their list of the worst everyday players in the major leagues at every position, and the Phillies made a strong showing for being weak. The worst everyday first baseman? Well, you can guess that:

Yes, on the surface it seems odd for WAR to say a player who is fourth in the NL with 93 RBIs is the worst everyday first baseman in baseball. And Howard has certainly been at his best with runners on base: a .256 average and .802 OPS, compared to .182 and .552 with the bases empty. But he’s never been much of a fielder (Inside Edge numbers) show he’s only made 17 of 50 plays at first base deemed to be outside of the routine this year) or much of a runner. And when you add his career-worst .220 average and .682 OPS to the mix, he winds up on this list for 2014.

Left field? The man responsible for that not-uncommon occurrence above, Dom Brown:

In 139 games last year, Brown hit 27 home runs and posted a 1.7 WAR for the Phillies in a breakthrough season. This year, through 140 games, he has 10 home runs and a minus-1.3 WAR. That’s quite a regression. His struggles reached the point where, earlier this month, there were reports that the Phillies will look to trade him in the offseason. That’s not what anyone expected after Brown made the 2013 All-Star team.

And when it comes to starting pitching, the saddest award in all of baseball goes to Roberto Fausto Edward James Olmos Carmona Hernandez, who spent his season with the Phillies until just after the trade deadline. He actually did pretty decent here and made the list due to his dismal showing with the Dodgers. But that doesn’t really make me feel any better, because he was tied with someone else we know very well:

Hernandez was actually a relatively positive part of the Phillies’ rotation for much of the year (3.87 ERA/4.67 FIP), but in eight starts after the Dodgers traded for him, he’s posted a 4.74 ERA and 5.28 FIP … Worth a mention: Kyle Kendrick, Phillies. Kendrick has identical 0.4 WARs for both FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference, which isn’t too surprising considering his ERA (4.61) is nearly identical to his FIP (4.57). And neither number is good.

The good news? In his final season, while everyone can’t get over how amazing a player he was even until the very end, Derek Jeter takes the title at shortstop.

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