|Ryan Howard's short (yet somehow long) 2012 season is over. (AP)|
Here are the somewhat unusual circumstances:
Ryan Howard broke a toe when he dropped that lead pipe he swings in the on-deck circle on his foot. Manuel said he won't play again this year— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) September 29, 2012
That means Howard will end his age-32 season with a batting line of .219/.295/.423 and 14 homers in 71 games. Howard, of course, missed a substantial chunk of 2012 recovering from the Achilles' injury he suffered in last year's NLDS. Still, those are pretty awful numbers for a first baseman who's a net negative on the bases and with the glove.
The more troubling angle from the team's standpoint is that Howard is under contract through at least 2016 (there's a team option for 2017) and at a minimum cost of $105 million. Looking forward, it's difficult to overstate how disastrous this contract looks.
There's almost no chance that Howard will come anywhere close to being worth the money he's owed, but the Phillies must hope that he's not already in deep decline phase. Unfortunately for GM Ruben Amaro, the 2012 season suggests that's precisely the case.