Ryan Howard tried to be optimistic before the season as he came back from a difficult injury, but 2013 has been a tough year so for. His numbers are way down, with .266 batting average and 11 home runs as we come up to the All Star break, and now Scott Miller is piling on as he puts together his anti-All Star team of the season’s biggest disappointments.
Few are in dire need of ice packs as much as Howard — both for his knee and his numbers — so we can only wish him Godspeed on his impending knee surgery. Hope he returns on the short end of the six-to-eight weeks he’s expected out.
Before landing on the disabled list this month, Howard, at $20 million this year, essentially was reduced to platoon status. Against lefties, he’s hitting .173 with a .218 on-base percentage. That’s not hitting. That’s praying.
The Phillies’ frustration with their Big Man reached such epic proportions that general manager Ruben Amaro borrowed a page from the Brian Cashman Book of Calling Out a Player. Minus the F-bomb.
“If Ryan Howard is now relegated to being a platoon player, he’s a very expensive platoon player and he needs to be better,” Amaro told Philadelphia radio station WIP earlier this month. “I think he knows it. I know he’s struggling. I know he’s not happy with his performance. Neither are we. I think he’s going to be better, but right now, he’s just not doing the job.”
Josh Hamilton is another of the many prominent players on this list.
Howard is on the disabled list now, and we’ll see if he finds a way to turn his season around.