Found September 02, 2013 on
MLB Injury News:
With the speculation about whether or not Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard will return to the team next year, it looks more and more apparent that he will not return this year. MLB.com's Manny Randhawa reports that Howard will most likely sit out the remainder of the season as he recovers from surgery to remove inflammation in his left knee.
Howard has played in only 80 games this season because of the inflammation. He last played on July 5. He was productive in those games, hitting .272 with 11 HR and 43 RBI. His absence is only one of many reasons why the Phillies have underachieved this year after such an incredible run from 2008 (World Series Champions) to 2011.
From 2005 to 2011, Howard was one of the most-feared hitters in all of baseball. He averaged 41 HR and 123 RBI during that span while winning the 2005 N.L. Rookie of the Year and 2006 N.L. MVP award. Since he injured his leg to end the 2011 postseason, though, he has had trouble regaining that form. He played in only 71 games in 2012 and 80 this year.
With his team well out of the postseason picture, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro does not see the need to push his first baseman back into action this year. Amaro wants Howard to recover fully during the offseason and prepare for 2014. Said Amaro,
"I think it's doubtful that he'll be back this year. I think he's making progress, which is great. He's taking more ground balls and hitting more. He's doing some more running and he's come along. I'm not in any rush to have Ryan here if he's not 100 percent."
Now, the questions continue about Howard's Phillies tenure. He is signed through 2016 at $25 million per year plus a $23 team option for 2017. With a contract like that, Amaro may have a hard time finding a taker should he want to trade Howard. The Phillies will need a completely healthy Ryan Howard -- and more -- next year if they want to improve on their N.L. ranking of 13th in runs scored.
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