If you're still looking to Ryan Howard to provide meaningful numbers for your Fantasy team, there's a chance you were cryogenically frozen for the last four years and haven't figured it out yet. He's still good for about 20 homers, but that's a far cry from the 30 or 40 he used to deliver and not an exemplary total at a position such as first base. Plus, he has no secondary skill to speak of, having already bottomed out in batting average with the walks more recently following. His .277 on-base percentage last year ranked third-to-last among qualifying hitters. Considering the negative impact of his strikeouts, you'd be better off drafting a Justin Bour or Logan Morrison type, especially in points leagues. Howard does still offer some RBI potential, but with the Phillies entering a rebuilding phase, he could lose more and more at-bats to Darin Ruf.
Manager Pete Mackanin said Howard (knee) will be platooned at first base if he does not show signs of improvement against left handed pitchers this spring, CSN Philadelphia reports. Howard hit just .130 with a .418 OPS and 40 strikeouts against lefties last season. It seems unlikely that Howard will finally overcome his difficulties with lefties this spring. A more likely scenario has Howard opening the season in a platoon with Darin Ruf. That would continue the approach Mackanin took starting last August. Ruf hit .371 with 8 home runs and a 1.107 OPS against lefties last season.
Howard (knee) has filed a defamation lawsuit against Al Jazeera network, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Al Jazeera ran a report last month that said Howard and other professional athletes used the performance-enhancing substance Delta 2. Howard denies using Delta 2 or any performance-enhancing substance banned by MLB.
An investigative documentary which will air Sunday on Al Jazeera alleges that Howard (knee) received human growth hormones from a Texas-based pharmacist, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Howard has denied he has used HGH. The claim that Howard and other professional athletes received HGH is based on statements Charlie Sly, a pharmacist who once worked at an anti-aging clinic in Indiana, made and were recorded without his knowledge. Sly has since recanted his story.
Manager Pete Mackanin said he has not yet decided if Howard (knee) will enter next season as a platoon player at first base, CSN Philadelphia reports. Mackanin started to sit Howard against lefties last August. Continuing that approach makes sense given Howard's struggles against lefties. The Phillies remain interested in trading Howard, but have been unable to find a trade partner. It seems likely Howard will open next season in a platoon with Darin Ruf at first base for the Phils.
Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said first baseman Ryan Howard (knee) will not play again this season, CSN Philadelphia reports. Howard has been out since Sept. 14 when he took a throw off his left knee. The knee is basically healthy at this point, but Howard has not faced pitching in weeks, so the Phils have opted to shut him down. He finishes the year hitting .229/.277/.443 with 23 home runs in 467 at-bats.