Howard has reported to Triple-A Albuquerque and will be available for Saturday's game. After inking a minor-league deal with the Rockies' organization earlier in the day, Howard has already reported to Triple-A and will be in uniform Saturday. He'll need to show more at the dish than he did earlier in the season at Triple-A Gwinnett, when he slashed just .184/.238/.263, in order to get consideration for a promotion to the Rockies before the year is out.
Howard agreed to terms on a minor-league deal with the Rockies on Saturday. The veteran slugger has been a free agent since he was released by the Braves in May. Howard slashed a mere .184/.238/.263 in 11 minor-league games in the Braves organization prior to his release and he hit just .196 in 112 games with the Phillies last season. He won't be on the 40-man roster to start, but if Howard starts getting back on track, there's a possibility of him joining the Rockies as a left-handed power bat off the bench in September.
Howard was released from his contract with the Braves on Monday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Howard mustered just a .184 batting average and struck out 11 times in as many games for Triple-A Gwinnett. Even if Howard still has the power -- and he wasn't showing it this year, as he'd managed just one home run -- it's obvious that his bat is just too slow for him to be a productive major-league player at age 37.
Howard is expected to make his season debut for Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. Howard, who agreed to a minor-league deal with the Braves earlier this month, has been prepping for the season in extended spring training. The 37-year-old certainly isn't the dynamic slugger he once was, but has shown he still has pop against right-handers, mashing 24 home runs against them last season. Howard likely serves as organizational depth, but could serve as an interesting call-up for interleague games or as a heavy hitter off the bench.
The Braves signed Howard to a minor-league deal Thursday, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. Howard will participate in extended spring training before reporting to Triple-A Gwinnett. With Freddie Freeman locked in as a franchise player at first base, Howard didn't exactly join a spot that puts him on the fast track to the bigs. Still, Atlanta could have worse organizational depth pieces than someone who hit 23-plus home runs in the previous three seasons. The 2006 National League MVP must wait for an opportunity, though perhaps he'll become trade bait as a potential DH for an American League club later in the season.