Saving Ryan’s Private WAR: And the mission is to save him.
The Phillies miss Ryan Howard. A lot.
This season has taught us a lot about the Phillies. One lesson is that, despite what WAR may and may not say, a platoon of mediocre first basemen is not equal to Howard. Forget about the strikeouts and the declining slash-lines. The prior notion that a league-average first baseman could produce as much as Howard is simply not true.
...He won’t be 100 percent during the second-half of the season, but 85 percent of Ryan Howard is still probably more valuable than the league-average production the Phils have received from first base.
Those prolonged myths about Howard being expendable because his WAR said so… those can be laid to rest.
He’s not Joey Votto, he’s not Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder or Miguel Cabrera. But he’s a difference-making bat who will give you between a .850 and .930 OPS over the next handful of seasons. Whether that’s worth $125 million, let’s debate it for the 767th time… another time.
Hopefully the first 78 games of the 2012 season explained why we’ve been foolish to take Ryan Howard for granted.