Ryan Howard Newsbeat
Saturday, August 30, 2014
“The front office’s hope is that an American League team will take a chance on [Ryan] Howard if he reaches plateaus such as 25 home runs and 100 RBIs”... yup, that does sound like Phillies status quo.
Best of luck to Carpenter.
A little more than 3 hours before last night’s first pitch, Ruben Amaro Jr. addressed the players gathered in the visiting team clubhouse at Citi Field. The Phillies’ general manager reiterated the developments of Thursday, that in the wake of David Montgomery’s medical leave of absence, Pat Gillick will be interim team president…
Montgomery, the longtime team president, is recovering from May 19 jaw-cancer surgery… Gillick, the GM of the Phillies’ 2008 World Series team and a Baseball Hall of Famer, has been a senior adviser to Montgomery and Amaro. He has held the position since stepping down from his GM post after the championship season, when Amaro took over.
From a baseball operations standpoint, Amaro said “there’s no change” with Gillick at the helm. Montgomery will return and resume his role upon his full recovery.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
And John Mayberry Jr. isn’t even mentioned! This team’s problem is too many great options to try out!!
Phils manager Ryne Sandberg said last month he wants to see other players at first base, but Ryan Howard continues to play there almost every day. Sandberg repeatedly said the organization needs to learn more about Darin Ruf, but he has only played him sporadically… The Phillies talk about change, yet there has been little change on the field.
But sources over the past couple of weeks have helped piece together the Phils’ thinking in regards to some of these situations.
Amaro said a few weeks ago he expects Howard to be his Opening Day first baseman in 2015, which might be the case. But if the Phillies have any chance of trading him to an American League team in the offseason, they also know he must play… But what about Ruf, [Grady] Sizemore and Domonic Brown? The Phillies find themselves in a logjam with Howard playing daily at first base. Marlon Byrd could be traded in the offseason, so he will continue to play every day to keep up his value. Ben Revere is hitting well, and the Phils would like to know if the hitter they have seen since late June is the hitter they can expect to see in the future.
That leaves three players for one position.
Despite the fact Sandberg said they don’t know much about Ruf, the organization feels it does. It thinks he could be a platoon player in the future—other teams feel the same—but it also is juggling to see if it can get anything at all from Brown, who is on pace to have the lowest OPS of any qualifying left fielder since 2002, while continuing to evaluate Sizemore.
The Phillies could bring back Sizemore, but that’s far from a sure thing. There could be a situation where the Phils trade Brown and enter next season with Sizemore and Ruf in a platoon in left field. But they stand no chance of bringing back Sizemore if they bench him the rest of the season.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
The Howard contract was the one that should have snapped Amaro out of whatever loyalty spell he was under. The second he offered that catastrophe of a deal, baseball writers all over the country wrote in all capital letters: “ARE THE PHILLIES OUT OF THEIR MINDS?” There was no other question.
This was way back in 2010, and it was utterly inexplicable — a $125 million deal that would not even begin for two years for a declining slugger? I believe it is the most inexplicable bad contract ever handed out. Sure, you could argue for other terrible that were more expensive and harmful — this Pujols deal could end up setting the standard — and there have been many smaller deals that are hard to explain, like the Twins giving Ricky Nolasco a four-year, $50 million deal.
But combine the situation (Howard still had TWO YEARS left on his deal), the age (he turned 32 before the contract even began) and an honest assessment of the player (a power hitter who couldn’t run, was a liability at first base, couldn’t hit lefties and was unlikely to age well) and I think you are talking about the most inexcusably bad contract in baseball history.
Then again … it was a loyalty contract. Howard was such an integral part of the Phillies rise, such an unexpected joy when, in his first full year, he hit 58 homers and led the league with 383 total bases. The Phillies wanted to keep him as a Philadelphia sports hero. Noble cause. It blinded them to the obvious: Howard’s best days were behind him….
Amaro wanted to hold on. It’s a natural instinct. And it’s a destructive one. It never fails to amaze how obtuse Major League general managers can be about things seemingly as obvious as aging. Now, the Phillies are terrible, they are old, they have not developed a useful young player for themselves in about a decade, and Baseball America has ranked their minor league system 22nd, 23rd and 27th the last three years.
Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:54 AM | 23 comment(s)
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