Latest Update Howard is not in the Phillies starting lineup on Thursday Thu Jul, 31, 03:20 PM
A threat to crush the ball over the fence to all fields on every at-bat, he's an excellent and consistent run-producer who can carry his club for long stretches. Will take his share of walks.
Flaws: : Regularly challenges records for strikeouts and needs to make more contact and take even more walks. Can be streaky at the plate. Not a good fielder at first base and makes too many errors.
With lefty Gio Gonzalez on the hill for the Nationals, Howard will take a seat in favor of Darin Ruf. You should expect to see this type of configuration moving forward the rest of the way as manager Ryne Sandberg announced recently that the two would form a fairly straight-up lefty/righty platoon.Analyst: Howard Bender
He may be only a platoon player these days as Darin Ruf continues to eat into his at-bats, but he's still trying to remain productive with a home run here and hits in each of his last four games. In that span, he's 7-for-19 (.368) with the one jack, four RBI, four runs scored and three walks. He should still get the larger share of work being the lefty bat in the platoon, but given the loss of playing time, he's going to have to start showing more of the old Ryan Howard and keep that power coming.Analyst: Howard Bender
Howard's struggles this season have been well documented especially when a south paw is on the mound. For most of the season a rumored platoon which would have seen Darin Ruf in the lineup when lefties are on the mound with Howard facing righties but injuries to Ruf allowed Howard to continue getting everyday at bats. Now that Ruf is healthy it seems as though the Phillies are following through with their plan to sit Howard against lefties. The one interesting fact is despite hitting .289 in his career against right handed pitching, Howard is hitting just .226 against them this year. The Phillies face another lefty on Sunday meaning Howard will likely find the pine.Analyst: Jonathan Impemba
It's clear that the Phillies made a terrible decision when they gave Ryan Howard $125 million for five years of service. He has been terrible this year and regardless of whether the Phillies move Howard or release him, they will still owe him that money. As for now, expect Howard to start against right-handed pitchers and ride the pine against lefties.Analyst: David Kerr